At long last, on Sunday I hosted my first cemetery picnic! Fortunately, the weather was perfect, overcast in the morning, but clearing and beautiful by noon, so it was not too hot and not too cold. The cemetery was perfect as well, with beautiful headstones old and new, lots of trees and flowering bushes, and the picnic tables were even in the shade! And there were butterflies, orange monarchs flitting about doing whatever it is butterflies do in cemeteries.
What was disappointing was that there ended up being only four of us; me and one other member who also brought her husband and almost-two-year-old child. We had one no-show, and everyone else canceled for one reason or another. While the four of us did have a lovely time, one of the reasons for having meetups is to... MEET people! So we were bummed that no one showed up whom we didn't already know.
Here is a really good pic of me that Donna took:
This is the front of the old part of the cemetery. The oldest graves are toward the back and continue along the right. I'm standing next to an infant's grave; I always feel sorriest for the mothers. I almost lost my son to an accident when he was only 14 years old, but this lady lost her baby after only a few months. She never got to know him at all.
My sisterhood group started a tradition two years ago called the "Celebration of the Eternal Maidens"; on or around Imbolc (February 1st/2nd) we go to our local cemetery, which is within walking distance of my apartment, and put flowers on the graves of children (mostly girls) who died before they reached 18 years old and have no flowers or other signs that anyone visits them now. Most of the ones we find are under five years old, and the graves are very old. So sad...
Here are a couple of pics that I took. The first is of the center front, more modern part of the cemetery. The second one is of the same stone I stood next to in the pic above, but with more of the older part in the background.
It's such a beautiful cemetery that we plan on having more picnics here. I just hope more people attend!