One of the places I enjoy strolling through is the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. It is national historic landmark of 175 acres and is accredited as an arboretum and botanical garden, with miles of roads and paths, 3 ponds, and a vernal pool. It’s also a premier birding destination. It has a significant collection of more than 60,000 monuments and is open to the public year round free of charge.
It’s an amazing experience to walk the roads and paths of this cemetery surrounded by monuments, tombs, and mausolea. It is particularly striking to be here in the springtime, when this place of eternal rest is home to such a variety of flora and fauna, full of life and color and fertility. The cemetery attracts 200,000 visitors annually, so when I visit, I always see people enjoying the grounds.
Such a place reminds us that life and beauty go on, even in a place which memorializes the dead. I do not consider the photos I make from my excursions there to be morbid–just the opposite. I see this place as a reminder that death is not the end for us.
There is a reason that we celebrate Easter in the spring, when nature is waking from its winter sleep and emerging from its self-imposed grave. We experience the resurrection in many ways, and the rebirth of nature gives us a yearly reminder that death does not have a permanent hold on us. That is worth celebrating.
“If we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:8)