Once I got to the feed store I decided to take an equally ridiculous route home. That’s how I ended up in Sharon, a town I had no real reason to be in. As I drove down some beautiful rural streets I noticed a cemetery smack dab in the middle of nowhere. (My GPS claimed it was 80 McCoy Road. I just discovered the “Where am I?” button and am bouncing with delight at that one!) And when I say smack dab in the middle of nowhere I mean it. It was a small cemetery surrounded on all sides with forest, contained within the boundaries of a stone wall. From afar it didn’t look that interesting – very typical marble stones from the 1800’s. White marble ages poorly and that’s why I tend not to have any interest in them but it is still October and I did promise more spooky places so off I went.
There was a little white gate facing the road. It wasn’t open but there were no locks on it either. There was also no markers telling me which cemetery this was but Google figured that one out for me. I opened the little gate and walked in. There wasn’t much to see at first, this was a small cemetery of maybe 100-150 stones, none drew me to them but the feeling of this place was surreal. It was like I was walking into a bubble where time was lost. The stones here had once been repaired, a few split in half were fused back together with supports and propped back up, but even this effort seemed to have been a long time ago. Moss grew over the supports. This place felt utterly forgotten. That’s when I noticed something weird. Off to the side of the cemetery, past a little stone wall, there were new plots and they were really new. It was if most of the cemetery was the 1850’s or so and then 2017. Hmmm. I headed over to check them out.
These new stones were scattered like confetti on the grounds. They faced all directions and made no sense what-so-ever. Stranger still were the stones themselves. While most were rather ordinary there were a lot that were… odd. The most normal of which was a very modern stone with a modern etching of a lighthouse, a beach, and an old Studebaker driving down the road in front of it. It read, “On the road again.” That just made me shiver a bit. Why had I approached this one stone in particular while trying to take photos for a travel blog? A message from beyond… perhaps. Or just a coincidence. The next stone however was even more startling. It was on the very edge of the cemetery and didn’t even look like a gravestone, it looked more like building debris. It was raw cut granite, very raw, with the tool marks used to quarry it still visible. It also had an engraving… of a mouse or a rat. I’ve seen a lot of gravestones and many of them have remembrances of cats and dogs on them, sometimes horses or birds, but this is the first mouse/rat and it belonged to an old couple. I might expect to see this on a young Goth’s stone, you know someone who died in the 90’s at age 25, but an elderly couple?! This seemed to be another possible message from beyond… as I used to breed fancy rats and mice many years ago. They brought me such joy I had often joked about getting one as a tattoo or memorializing them on a cemetery stone. I smiled. I liked these people, whoever they were.
Back in the old part of the cemetery I noticed a bizarre corner that seemed more confetti-like than the rest. I noticed those stones were also new and even had a bench overlooking them. They seemed even more raw than the rat/mouse stone. In fact one of them appeared to just be a rock that was already in the area, engraved thusly. Here there were a whole row of educators, scientists, mathematicians, and a few house wives scattered between them, though one was very sweet in stating, “Wife, mother, and a great woman.” She wasn’t going to be left out with the three descriptions! This also made me smile. I bet you these were some damn interesting people. At the very back another natural rock was affixed with a plaque remembering “the angel woman.” I wondered what this meant…
Just as I was leaving I noticed two stones which had been scrubbed clean. They were from the 1800’s and had been so thoroughly cleaned up they looked brand new. I wondered why these two stones? Before I reached the car I also found a tiny orange grub-like caterpillar. I tried taking a photo but he seemed incensed I was trying to handle him , rolled into a hedgehog ball, and clenched all his tiny feet together. There was no unrolling him.
I left the graveyard feeling so reassured in life. It was odd but beautiful. Perhaps someday I will have an equally curious stone. Google says there’s another older graveyard not far away… guess I know what I need to see now!
<strong> If you are enjoying Catching Marbles please consider adding a dollar or two to my limited gas money fund so I can continue going on adventures and sharing them with you! Thank you!