If hard evidence is wanted that we New Englanders h
have roots running deep in our rock
strewn soil, look no further than our old cemeteries, for we
have them in plenty, and whose headstones
still bear the bloodless and blind names of our people.
Names that harken back long before
they stained old Boston Harbor with English tea, long before
aa king’s Red Coats marched upon
these quiet shores – names like Joshua Pitts, Ezekiel Clark,
Micah Bradford, Noah Crumbe, Esther Cole,
and countless similar. Names that carried conviction, hope,
and faith strong and resilient as any sturdy oak.
The Book, you see, was never far from those God-fearing
people, and always opened,
always an easy reach for a troubled heart. It brought them
solace in the darkest nights when life
seemed less than certain, less than the faintest flicker
of a taper’s flame. The land was new, hard.
It needed tilling and care, willing hands to make it their own.
Hands now forever idle, forever stilled in fathomless pockets.
not as a hindrance to wasteful pleasure, but as a command,
a divine blessing to benefit themselves
and others, to be worked out. Laziness for its own sake found
no supporters. Life had purpose, a reach.
They walked with a sure footing, even when the heavens
shook with fury and made them
cower with fear and prayer, or when the ground beneath
trembled. They learned to wait; it always settled.
Now, in their decayed cradles of death, they sleep that
mighty sleep we all must lie down to.
Their children and their children’s children have been
reduced to empty names that have outlived them.
Yet they still speak to us with strength, hope, and conviction.
We have inherited their blood.
We have become their legacy. We will survive, even as
they survived. These old cemeteries are proof of it.
Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2020
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