The afternoon was partly cloud, slightly chilly, and perfectly fall. We pulled up to the gate of the cemetery. Bug looks slightly anxious. "We won't be in there when it gets dark?" he asks.
Arms loaded with blank sheets of paper, we trudge over the uneven ground, fallen acorns crunching under our feet. We walk uphill, to the oldest part of the graveyard.
I love graveyards. I love the old, crumbling moss covered stones and the miniature architecture of the headstones. I love the stories each grave tells, half of them made up in my own head.
This particular afternoon, I have brought my boys to the oldest cemetery in the city so that we can make charcoal rubbings of headstones. We wander through the markers, some tipped or sunken into the ground. We look for beautiful carvings, touching poems, and oldest dates.
There is so much history here, history that no one really knows any more.
We visit the Black Angel, rumored to be the most haunted site around. I don't mention this to the boys. They're actually enjoying our little outing to the cemetery, and I don't want to scare them.
When we find headstones we liked, very old stones or those carved with intricate designs, we unroll our paper, lay it over the stone and then rubbed the paper with charcoal. Well, Bug, my mom, and I do. Monkey just runs around, filling his pockets with acorns.
We spend a good portion of the afternoon, wandering further and further in the cemetery, which turned out to be much larger than I imagined. Finally, the last light was filtering through the pine boughs, and we make our way back to the car, our rubbings rolled carefully under our arms, our hands black smudged. We leave well before dark.
The rubbings are now hung by the front door, the perfect Halloween decorations.
I think this will be an annual tradition.