lady patience

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Exploring cemeteries is something we enjoy, even ones in which none of our known ancestors lie buried. They are pleasant places to take walks and get some exercise – we even met a couple of joggers in the 22-acre non-sectarian Stonington Cemetery on Easter Sunday.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Reflecting on the life stories stone carvers have told with their memorial masonry…

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

In the smaller sculpture (above), which is elevated on a pedestal, the woman is leaning on an upright log. In the similar, but larger sculpture (below), the woman is leaning on a pillar.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

A close-up of the same statue…

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

The following engraving touched me – how much sorrow the simple word “only” conveys.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

The Stonington Cemetery was incorporated in 1849, expanding a small 18th century burial ground.  A group of Stonington leaders, many of whom made their fortunes as a result of the whaling and shipping trades, came together to design a significant horticultural and aesthetic landscape site responding to the “rural” or “garden” cemetery movement of the time.
~ Stonington Cemetery

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

A majestic tree, waiting patiently for spring to begin in earnest…

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

A bit of architecture to mark the ATWOOD family plot. I wonder if they could be related, as I have so many Atwoods on my family tree, though my branch settled in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

A large rough-hewn stone cross – I love its simplicity.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Following the custom of Laurie Buchanan over at Speaking from the Heart, I selected the word ‘patience’ to focus on in 2013. In a bit of synchronicity I found another statue of a woman in a newer part of the cemetery, much like the ones in the older part. This stone carver gave her a name – PATIENCE. She is leaning on an upright log.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

The ship’s wheel (below) indicates a sailor lies buried here, the grave much more recent than most of the others in this cemetery. The surname sounds Portuguese to me – in the mid-1800s it was primarily immigrant Portuguese sailors who manned the local Stonington whaling fleet.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

A lovely little garden plot by the woods…

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
3.31.13.5058
3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

This anchor (below) decorates a pile, where sailors would secure their boats to the docks with ropes. I’m wondering if this stone is marking the corner of a family cemetery plot. Perhaps the plot was bought but never used, or maybe it is filled with unmarked graves.

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3.31.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

All true stories begin and end in a cemetery.
~ Carlos Ruiz Zafón
(The Shadow of the Wind)

17 thoughts on “lady patience”

  1. I enjoyed the tour of the old cemetery very much Barbara. My father and I would stop off at any cemetery we came across as I was growing up, much to my mother’s displeaure! There is something very calm and comforting about being among the gravestones and statues and reading the inscriptions from many years gone by. These days I don’t have a cemetery companion to walk with, so I wander through graveyards alone, feeling the history and absorbing the emotions of the souls who have left us. I love the significance that Lady Patience holds for you. 🙂

    1. I’m so happy to know that you enjoyed the cemetery tour, Joanne! Like your mother, most of the people I know think strolling around cemeteries is creepy or boring. Once when my daughter was showing her friend our photo albums, her friend was disconcerted and asked why there were so many pictures of her family in cemeteries. Up until then Larisa had no idea that the average person thought this to be a strange activity. But, I can well imagine how much you enjoyed exploring cemeteries with your father. It would be so wonderful to take a walk through a graveyard with you some day!

      1. You are lucky that Larisa is so accepting of your interest in graveyards, mine all think I’m very strange! For me, it is the history and also knowing that each and every life lived has a huge impact on another, or several other lives. I also love old buildings and antique furniture. The essence of memories lives on and you can “feel” those who have been there before. (I should have been a historian!) I’ll look forward to visiting a graveyard with you some day Barbara (it could happen!)

        1. It’s interesting how it’s often late in life when people start becoming interested in family histories and cemeteries. Once, when I was in my 30s, my dad and I went to a genealogy convention and there was only one other young adult in attendance! We introduced ourselves and talked to each other about how most people our age were so uninterested in our passion. Joanne, you ARE a historian! It’s an occupation even if one isn’t paid for it monetarily. 🙂

  2. Nice journey through the cemetery! Your selections not withstanding, represent the waiting wife and/or mother, usually the one left behind.
    I have not journeyed to the cemetery in awhile, I would take mom to place flowers on her grandparents and parents markers, in the cemetery is laid to rest Walt Whitman and his family. It is an old cemetery which is in Camden NJ. We also visited with Dad and my nephew in newer sites but have not gone in a year or so.

    Last year when I was in Vermont I visit cemetery’s and photographed them serval times and last year, I happened to be near Woodlawn Cemetery in West Philadelphia, which is an amazing nature created space, filled with great memorials, winding roads, and ancient trees.

    Here is a link to one of my blogs from last here, the blog after it also has a photo of a grave yard. http://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/exercising-your-power-of-choice/

    1. I remember that beautiful post, Jeff, and enjoyed going back to savor it again! Thanks for including the link. It’s so interesting how the older headstones will get crooked over the years from frost heaves and shifts in the groundwater – timely reminders of the earth’s evolution and transience. Our lives are brief, fleeting moments in the stream of time, and even our memorials cannot linger forever.

      Until my father lost his mobility we would take him to visit my mother’s grave often. Now that he is housebound I don’t go as often, and miss those times together. It would be interesting some day to visit Walt Whitman’s grave and Woodlawn Cemetery, down in your neck of the woods. We’ve visited the graves of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in Concord, MA, and R. Buckminster Fuller and a few others I have since forgotten, at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. It would be nice to go back again and get some decent pictures with the better camera I have now.

    1. You’re another kindred spirit, then, Sybil. 🙂 Somehow I had the feeling most of my blogging friends would understand. Most of the headstones in this cemetery were plain and ordinary, but these striking ones grab the visitors’ attention very quickly.

    1. “Our only daughter” struck me, too. Next time I went to the cemetery I checked the other side of the stone and discovered the daughter was 17 years old when she died. So sad….

    1. I almost missed spotting the anchor, it is only about a foot tall and not near any gravestones. I’ve been needing a lot of patience lately!

        1. It’s true – perhaps the majority of the gravestones in this cemetery have deteriorated a great deal. I felt lucky to find a few that were legible and relatively free of lichen. 🙂

  3. Oh, what a poignantly beautiful and interesting cemetery. The figures, inscriptions, and so much more so evocative of the joys and sorrows of life and death.

    I have been trying to post a comment on your ‘adopted tree’ posts, but for some reason I am not being ‘allowed’ too. Let me try here:

    Your adopted tree is wonderful and how interesting to watch its progression through the year. Amazing how it grew around that post. Wow, you have a lot of brothers! Didn’t know you had one who lived in England. Hope all goes well with your brother #4. Love the updates on Olga and Zoë – so interesting how differently they are adapting. Well, like people, they all have different ways and personalities. XO ♥

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying these posts, Diane! ♥ I hope the problem with posting here was a temporary glitch – sometimes I have a great deal of difficulty post comments on Blogspot blogs…

      This tree so far has surprised me with something new to discover and ponder each week. 🙂

      Actually these are Tim’s brothers, he is the oldest, #1. 🙂 There are six of them, #2, #3 and #6 live in Europe and #5 lives in Florida. It’s been wonderful having Olga and Zoë for company through this health crisis, sometimes I think they’ve done more for us than we could ever do for them! *hugs*

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