Just had a wonderful day at the Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park, a lovely acre of largely untouched land that we have possessed for 150 years to house our dead. Quakers traditionally have very simple graveyards, with modest, largely unadorned gravestones indicating where the cremated remains lie, and that’s about it. There are no mausoleums, columns, statues, angels or crosses to be found anywhere.
The occasion was a spring cleaning of the cemetery, which given the beautiful weather and plentiful volunteers was a joyful labor.
I took a bunch of pictures in the cemetery, that I think turned out really nice. I was careful to not get any pictures of the names on the gravestones, out of respect for the dead.
I started out helping another Friend fix gravestones that had fallen over or were badly tilted. I was surprised by how small and light the gravestones were, some only buried a few inches into the ground. It was very satisfying going down the rows and restoring some of the more severely tilted ones to good order.
Later, I helped rake leaves, move branches, and weed along with a dozen or so other cheerful volunteers. Several people had the foresight and generosity to bring snacks and beverages, which I availed myself of.
As someone who works in pristine, virtual worlds for a living, it felt so good just doing dirty physical labor for a change. I’m by no means a country mouse, but I do appreciate nature — the feel and smell of rich soil, the play of light on a patch of flowers, the sounds of birdsong and rustling squirrels and mice.
Afterwards, I strapped on my rollerblades and went for my first lap of Prospect Park of the year. It felt so wonderful to be zipping around the main concourse, I wanted to shout.
All-in-all, a lovely way to spend a Spring saturday morning. It makes me feel good knowing that my final remains will rest here, in this beautiful hillside among Friends.