Cemetery Musings: Shoes on a Wall

A musing is defined in the dictionary as “a product of contemplation; a thought”.  As I wander through cemeteries, I am often thinking about the stones above the ground and the individuals that lie beneath. Why that epitaph, that symbol, that style of writing? These are just some of the “cemetery musings” that cross my mind.

On another of our ramblings, John and I came across a cemetery in Massachusetts called Harvard Center Cemetery. The Town of Harvard was incorporated in 1732 and, in 1733, was granted a beautiful field for use as a burial ground.  The land provided views of Bare Hill Pond and Mount Wachusett.

Legend says that the first burial at Harvard Center Cemetery was a young girl named Elizabeth Willard. She was placed in an unmarked grave in 1773. The oldest remaining stone is that of Ephraim Stone, who died on 6/16/1734.

As John and I walked around the cemetery I was enthralled with the amount of stones carved by the Millicken family. I mused to myself that this family would have to be the focus of an upcoming blog. John and I had found their unique stones in several cemeteries on this weekend trip but this one was the absolute Millicken jackpot!

When I turned to look towards the way we came in I noticed something sitting on the rock wall. Curious I ventured closer…to my amazement, there in front of me, was a pair of purple shoes. Now I know you are thinking, “What is a pair of purple shoes doing on a cemetery wall?” Exactly the same thoughts ran through my head. Had some traveler forgotten them? Were they a gift to someone buried in the cemetery? Had the owner of the sneakers been abducted by a predator, space alien or even Bigfoot? I guess we will never know, but as I pondered this question I took a better look at the sneakers.  Purple, low top Converse’s…a bit ratty and worn. A small spider web running between the two proclaimed that they had been there at least a while. What a strange place for a pair of sneakers…

Next time you are in a cemetery mesmerized by the stones, take a good look around. You too may find some purple sneakers…..or even their owner.


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