by | Oct 7, 2021 | Journal, Life | 0 comments

Our little community is bombarded with tourists and traffic.  I know everyone loves Door County, but it’s hard to find a quiet place to unwind, to have a moment of peace.  At home, the 24/7 news bombards us with sensationalistic rhetoric that does nothing but make us angry and feeling helpless. The guy driving behind me is tailgaiting so close that I sense my hands gripping the wheel. I overheard a hunger induced ornery customer in a restaurant rant because he had to wait over an hour for a table. He didn’t leave the harried waitress a tip. The restaurants everywhere are all short staffed but doing their best to serve the crowds of people coming for dinner. To get away from it all, I decide to head into Peninsula State Park only to find a line of 25 cars, barely moving, each waiting to get the required park sticker before entering the park in search of that glorious moment of peace.

I am one of the drivers of those cars but fortunately I have my sticker and quickly skirt the traffic to enter the park as I head for my favorite spot where I can sit on “my” little bench that overlooks the water. I’ve been here many times over the years, eating lunch or having a cup up of coffee while the water laps the shore beneath my feet. It’s my favorite place. Just as I park the car to head to “my” spot, several other vehicles pull up and a throng of kids, dogs, parents and grandparents pile out and gleefully trek down to the water, to sit on “my” bench. Oh dear.

Where can I go? It doesn’t seem like there is going to be a private spot in this whole park where I can just let go and inhale the trees alone, by myself.

Then I remember. The Blossomburg cemetery. It’s nearby. Just around the bend. Off I go up the hill, around the corner and there, amidst 100 foot ancient trees, standing like sentinals over the tombstones, is the cemetery. No one is there. Yet everyone is there. It’s incredibly quiet. I feel I’ve come home.

I park the car and quietly start walking amidst the tombstones. Everything slows down. I’m completely in the present moment. Franke, Lunstrom, Peterson… familiar names from our community grace the tombstones. The air smells of sweet pine. There are gorgeous fresh flowers on many graves. And toys, alligators, dolls and special stones left by children and the families who have been left behind. These acts of love and caring touch my heart. I hesitate over names and dates, respectfully whispering the names. I stop to hug a tree. I’m so happy to be here. My fingers trace a name on an ancient gigantic bolder, the name chiseled into its surface long, long ago. Two people on bicycles quietly drive through and then are gone. I continue meandering in and out of rows of trees and sleeping souls.


Then, in between the trees, I get a glimpse of something shiny and twinkling in a ray of sunlight. What is that? I slowly make my way towards it. It’s a stone with a sculpture of asssorted beads and trinkets wrapped around it, like dew drops, and copper plaques below with names, also wrapped in wire and beads. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in a cemetery. I see love. I see art. I see beauty in this tribute to the departed family members. I’m in the presence of something quite awesome. And for the first time in my life, even though I am of the age when I should have been thinking about this long ago, I realize that it wouldn’t be so bad to die if someone made me a tombstone like this, adorned with beads and trinkets that shine in the sunlight and maybe a small evergreen tree at Christmas time, my little dog Angel by my side, rocks of love left at the base. I feel peaceful and happy just contemplating that idea. To be so cherished after death surely would make the soul sing. The spirit rise up and dance through the trees. A breath blowing gently on the leaves.

To honor the place where someone you love is buried is to have that person in your life forever.

I found my peace today among those dear ones who are no longer with us. But then I realized they ARE with us. I just had to stop, listen, breathe and rest in the moment so I could hear their song.