12:38:50 PM

Victoria, Minnesota.
We find ourselves in another cemetery today, under a cold, damp,
windy sky. It seems somehow appropriate to look back at what we’ve
lost as we stand in limbo ourselves: the snow retreats, the wind
changes, but all around is only mud.

Each headstone tells its own particular tragedy: a 21-year-old killed
in Vietnam; a mother, wife and new grandmother taken by cancer at 45;
and countless children – this one 14 months, the next only two weeks
old. I grieve for their parents, who lie, years later, not too far
away. Their pain is not buried with them, but still touches us now,
as we walk by, no longer alone, easing our own.

I’m especially fond of the older sections, still inscribed in
their native tongues (mostly German, here). The stones stand
closer together, in the center. Lichens grow over the oldest,
over words worn away by a hundred years of weather. Their stories
indecipherable, they rouse my imagination from its cold, gray
slumber, and so new stories begin.

On the way home we saw our first robin of the spring.