Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Memory of a Walk in the Fall

I remember back a few years ago when I was still living in Ann Arbor, Michigan... the fall season was so beautiful with the trees all turning crimson red orange and yellow and the weather being a mix of warm and chill, and we could go out wearing anything we want and not be too cold or too hot.

I remember taking a walk with my dear friend Kristen in the Forest Hill Cemetery, where we could see lots of monuments and tombstones decades and some hundreds of years old... and they were all so beautifully made, sitting there as testaments to some people who used to live and walk the same earth and have been to where we've been at some distant time and era. Walking in the cemetery in the fall was in some ways refreshing; the sheer quietness and tranquility of the graveyard truly lived up to the saying "Silent as the grave". But the silence wasn't at all eerie; the beauty of the golden trees and the sight of scurrying squirrels and prancing deer took me to a different, more pleasantly distant world, away from the hectic life of a foreign college student and worker of two part-time jobs; away from books and annoying customers, away from wires, cables and computer peripherals. This was peace, both outer and inner, represented by the beautiful scenery, the quiet tombstones, and the peoples of the past resting peacefully in their silent graves.

Forest Hill Cemetery

Kristen took a photo of me at this obelisk that marks the Knight family graves. One of the marked tombstones was of Earle Johnson Knight who died in Fall of 1905. Coincidentally this photo was taken in 2005, a hundred years after his death. At that moment we did not know who the person was, when he died, and why his family was honored with such a prominent obelisk in the south area of the graveyard. I just thought that the tower looked commanding and important, and the name 'Knight' kind of embodied the same spirit, and with this interest in mind I requested my friend to to snap this memorable photo of me sitting on this century-old monument, with an awkward smile on my face that tells everyone how unphotogenic and inexperienced I am in front of the lens instead of behind it.

Now, more than three years later I still remember that walk with Kristen as one of my fondest memory with a dear friend whom I may never see again, as we both were foreigners from distant lands.
To Kristen I say thank you for the memories and this particular photo, both of which I hope will live on forever as a small chapter of my (or rather, our) story, which I will tell my future grandkids one day.


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