Holy Cross Cemetery is one of my favorite places to walk. Some of the hills are quite steep, some a little more gentle. The views are always spectacular. And even on a foggy or smoggy day when it’s hard to see the mountains or the ocean, there are the beautiful trees to look at.
But my favorite time of year is around Christmas. Holy Cross is a Catholic Cemetery and therefore quite a few hispanic people are spending eternity in the ground… at least their bodies are. The nice part of their belief system is that the deceased continue on as members of the family and are commemorated as such.
So at Christmas the graves are decorated just as if the corpses lying beneath the grass can appreciate the ribbons and flowers and baubles placed there by their relatives. I think it’s a lovely tradition. Whole families will set up folding chairs, have picnics and enjoy music. It’s like they are saying, yes you have left this earthly realm but you are still alive with us.
Although I walk around the cemetery during the year as it is a convenient stop for me on the way home, I make a special effort to drive over there at this time of year.
The sad part is the section reserved for babies and children. What could have happened to a three-month-old baby or a five-year-old boy or a nineteen-year-old young lady just starting her life?
One of my favorite spots is the Grotto filled with votive candles. Over the years I stopped there many times asking the Universe for favors.
Then I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say you can’t use the Universe (or God or the Creative Force, or whatever you want to call it) like an ATM machine expecting to get something out of it all the time. That made me stop and think.
My life completely changed when I started being grateful for everything in my life rather than asking for things I didn’t have, which merely emphasized what was missing. Now my glass is half full instead of half empty. In fact, it is full to the top.
So, even though I still have my bad days, now when I walk through the cemetery I feel fortunate that I survived this long and can walk among the grave stones rather than being buried under one.
(Photos copyright roslyn m wilkins)