Making plans to meet a friend in Medfield, I immediately thought of a local cemetery with a beautiful lake, and paved roads wide enough to allow for space between any other walkers we might encounter. While we are officially into winter, the day was mild, and recent rain had washed all our local snow away, leaving roadways and paths ice free for the moment.
We both arrived separately and parked near the entrance to Vince Lake Cemetery on Dale Street in Medfield. A single walker strolled past as we got out. The multiple pathways offer lots of places to walk in the quiet, being respectful of the main purpose of a cemetery, which is as a place of remembrance. Flags set next to graves of veterans fluttered in the gentle breeze.
Most graves look a little scruffy this time of year. Flowers that were planted earlier in the year have died. Oaks and other trees have lost their leaves. My friend and I have known each other for years, and so we talked easily, nothing of great consequence, just a time to enjoy one another’s company. I felt grateful.
The “lake” (more a pond in my book) looked dark, reflecting the threatening clouds. We stood near the inlet to the lake, listening to the sound of water pouring into the dammed stream. At the other end, we spied the stream tumbling down rocks and flowing past the neighbor’/s back yard.
We headed on to my friend’s parent’s graves, and and stopped while she bent down and carefully righted the small stone creatures resting on top of the memorial. A small bunny, and a stone kitty made me smile. Her mother’s name was Kitty. Memories of time with my friend and her mom flooded in. After a few more minutes, we moved on.
My friend is working on a book, and we talked of what steps she needed to take to help move her project along. She reminded me of how long she has been urging me to share more of my own story, the “Why” that is behind my journey. Why I seek out Easy Walks and the depths of joy being outdoors and being able to move brings to me.
Yes, walking and talking with friends, in the quiet and sacred space a cemetery provides is a joy. It was the perfect choice for #avoidingcrowds, for time with old friends, and for remembering the gifts of family.
As we approach a new year, I wish the best to all. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.