Old wooden cross in a cemetery, Questa, New Mexico. I can’t pass up a cemetery. I like to stop in at every opportunity. The peace and solitude among the headstones, where even the highway traffic noise fades, I find myself reading the family names. I’m able to glean some insight into the local community. The inscriptions tell me who served in the military; how many grandmothers will be sorely missed by so many. I see the names of mothers, sons, daughters, babies who have left too soon.
I grew up in the “old country across the pond”. We lived a hundred yards from an ancient cemetery at a church mentioned in the Doomsday Book. For all the mossy, lichen, creepy vine adorned headstones, I never felt akin to any of the long dead. In those graveyards, the headstones were a novelty. The oldest, being from umpteen centuries ago, became hide and seek locations in a place where even the ghosts died and stayed hidden!
It could be the proximity to a recent past, standing there feeling the fresh air, surrounded by the names of those still loved in living memory, that makes me feel I belong here. Thanks for looking. G
Dawson cemetery, in Colfax County, New Mexico. Dawson was the site of two separate coal mining disasters in 1913 and 1923. Dawson is located about 17 miles northeast of Cimarron, New Mexico. The township is gone but the cemetery remains. Growing up in a mining community in south Wales in the UK, it can be very moving to see the grave markers of the hundreds who died in two extreme mining accidents in this former township. I made this image last August when the afternoon sunlight through the thunderstorms and sunflowers accompanied the white grave markers of those killed in the two separate disasters. Thanks for looking. G
Some links with further information and photographs:
Embudo, New Mexico, Cemetery And Shrine. The hillside shrine, Barrancos Blancos, along highway 68 in hamlet of Embudo, stands resolute, a backdrop for the cemetery. The dirt hills, flanked by the highway to the east and the Rio Grande to the west, look like they should have weathered away by now. Today they still skirt around the cemetery like a guardian and creating a prominent feature of the local landscape. A few people stop their cars and get out and snap a photo. More often than not the traffic whizzes past at speeds that barely allow the occupants a glimpse of the shrine. Not too long ago I parked the car and walked around the site and made this image. I’ve included a link below of a picture from another day for your enjoyment. Thanks for looking. G
Here’s another image of the location from the highway: