University of Virginia has a small cemetery on the University grounds. When I was in school there, I would go and visit it quite often. It was a nice place to reflect, and write and take pictures, and just to generally be alone and shut off from the world. Although it was close to an intersection of two semi-busy streets, it was always very quiet. The large, old trees, and small stones walls were buffers against the outside, closing in an old and silent world that seemed a thousand miles from anywhere.
The newer section of the graveyard was not quite as isolated, but there were still plenty of cool graves including H.I.H. Anastasia of Russia, small white grave markers of confederate soldiers, and the gravestone with my favorite epitaph of any in that graveyard:
"You and I the secret of the crocus know Let us chant it softly, there is no more snow."
I didn't write down the names on this grave, but it was a husband and wife who shared a headstone, and died in 1992 and 1994.
It is so interesting the things that people or their loved ones decide to have written on a headstone. How do you sum up someone's life on a small stone tablet? Did you know Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph and decided only three of his accomplishments, out of so many, were important enough to be engraved on his gravestone. His reads:
" Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and father of the University of Virginia."
If you ever have the chance, you should visit the graveyard at UVa. You should go alone. Walk amoung the gravestones as if they are your friends from long ago, and feel the past seep into your very bones. Feel the silence and the solitude, and let them take you somewhere you have never been. The light will filter softly through dense leaves and you will smell the damp coolness of the ground and all will be at peace. Even you.