I took a little road trip recently that many of my friends would have considered painful. The folks that like to go from point A to B in the most direct, fastest way possible. But that’s not me, at least not in this stage of life. I like to wander ! It was an 8 hour route and I spent 6 of it on the backroads. Destination Columbia South Carolina.
I traveled through old Cherokee lands, from New Echota Georgia through Cherokee Corners stopping at most anything that struck my interest. At Cherokee Corners Methodist church I found an old cemetery. I was drawn deeper and deeper into the woods looking at headstones and I remember feeling frustrated in a way that all the stones weren’t in perfect little rows like I’m used to. My sense of culture and tradition took over and I expected things to be “right” ! Now, there were a few in a line but not most of them.
When I got home and began looking through the pictures, that’s when the beauty of this cemetery hit me. I began to appreciate how it challenged my sense of order, and broke any thoughts of what was “right”. But the thought that really hit me was, if I chose to be buried, that’s the kind of cemetery I’d want to be in. They were all scattered amongst the trees, as if they had their own private place to rest on a specially designated piece of land. It felt more intimante and peaceful.
It was a good trip to enjoy and appreciate the unexpected. I suppose we all live in some kind of bubble and I think it does me a world of good to get out of mine as often as I can. To see other ways of living and thinking, to see life from the backroads, from the woods and the places that don’t get much attention or appreciation. The picture below is of my friend and former Beaver Creek Indian Chief, Barry Chavis in front of what is going to become his new home. He already lives what most folks would consider way out in the country, but on his land he is recessing even further away !
This was a trip to see my son Dylan and if provided a great time with him but it also opened my heart up even more for our country and its heart, the people. Good to challenge my sense of tradition and see that there are many different traditions, and how it feels to sense them and appreciate them.