Our customary trip to the cemetery has evoked some deep thinking. Brit always pays respects to her deceased relatives before she goes home. This year I decided to visit my departed relatives as well.
I put the obligatory flower upon each gravesite. This was a first for me. I expected to be flooded with overwhelming emotion. Other than the name imprinted there, I felt no worldly connection with my grandparents through the viewing of the marked graves. Perhaps like the headstones, I too am made of stone.
As Brit’s visit progressed we had a great deal of fun. We talked for hours and hours about everything under the sun. For the first time in years, we celebrated my birthday together.
Later, I revisited my cemetery experience and tried to reconcile my feelings as I was looking at a group of the Adirondack Mountains that serve as the back drop to the Sacandaga Lake. They are layered like an artichoke of purple and green mashed potato heaps. The image of these beautiful mountains evokes tranquility in my body. Even if I am not physically before them, the image is tattooed on my brain and I can close my eyes, imagine them before me and receive an instant calming benefit just from thinking about them. As I sat entranced in my environment, I took a moment to muse about how something I hold so dear can enhance my perspective on any given day.
This is my church. If I ever want to feel connected with my deceased loved ones I need not visit the cemetery.
This thought led me to become transfixed on the question that vexes us all. What is the purpose of the things that make humans so unique if the sum of them evaporates once we perish? Our values, our emotion, our opinions our laughter and our voice just vanish. Was there a value in the experience once it has passed? What is the point, if when we are just getting the hang of this life and how to function comfortably and honorably within it, the time is up?
I certainly don’t have the answer, but I think it may lie partly within Bridgette’s visit. I believe it is connecting with love ones, finding happiness in ordinary things, making your own luck and hoping that by doing so your leggacy* will take care of itself.
*Alicia Legg. Leggacy. 🙂
I have a predilection with Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. If you have ever been here you share this addiction. This lake is only about 30 minutes from where I grew up and this close proximity made the lake seem as though it was right in my back yard. What is cool about this lake is that it is a man made reservoir. In 1929, five farm villages were evacuated and subsequently flooded to create this lake. This fact tantalizes the imagination of anyone who visits. Legends of graveyards that were never adequately removed were a subject of great ghost stories by camp fires. For years I believed that on a sunny day, if you knew where to look you could see the old steeple of a church at the bottom of the lake.
Each year my aunt and uncle would rent a cabin for a week or two and my girlfriend and I would be invited to come up and share the camp with her. These were old fashioned camps that could have been built in the 1950’s that had each their own character. We’d sleep on cots on the porches after a great camp day. One year we found an abandoned old camp with a sign that said, “This is a DILLY of a camp”. What a hoot. We pretended that this meant it was haunted and had some difficulty sleeping at night with a ghost so close.
When you think of how short a week is it is hard to believe how one week can be so influential on a person’s life. Whenever I visit Sacandaga Lake time becomes altered, in the very best possible way. It stretches out. The first thing that hits you when you come here is the smell of the air. It is clean and has a permeation of suntan lotion, lush greenery, pine sap and camp fires. That right there slows you down, and you stop to notice the beautiful trees that grow so high and sway back and forth in the slightest breeze.
When we spent the week our schedule went like this: we’d get up obnoxiously early to go fishing and then spend the remainder of the day swimming and basking in the sun. You would end the day with hot dogs by the fire and then watching an amazing sunset while fishing again.
Occasionally you would find yourself in a local town getting needed supplies and feeling as if you were taking a step back in time, you would tour all of the mom and pop shops in that town.
It is no surprise then that early on it became the mission of my husband and I to have a camp of our own one day. My husband and his dad built ours just a few years ago – right down the road from my other Aunt. It is a work in progress. Despite this, we have had such good times with our friends and family here. Each day I hope that my son looks upon this place with the same nostalgia that I have for camp and for Sacandaga Lake. My camp is a dilly of a camp – and I love it because it brings me close to this lake.
The Great Sacandaga Lake is simply part of my soul. Being here restores my faith in a way that no Cathedral could produce.