Saturday, November 20, 2010

Momento Mori

Most of my day today was spent downtown, which is something I don't do often enough. I live in Boston; I should take more advantage of going downtown (especially when you can park in the Common Garage all day for $11 on the weekend, as I learned today.) This morning I met my friend "Miss Post" at the movie theater at the Boston Common; we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. It was no surprise after having a complete meltdown on several occasions while reading the book that this was a four hankie (well, Kleenex, in my case) film for me. After the film, we had some lunch and rehashed the film (and possibly cried some more, but I am not telling.) Then we split up as Miss Post went off to run errands, and I went to the Granary Burial Ground on Tremont Street.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston

The Granary Burying Ground is the third oldest cemetery in Boston, and it is the burial place of a lot of notable Revolutionary War figures. The men killed in the Boston Massacre are buried there, as are Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams. A lot of prominent colonial Bostonians are there too: the first mayor and the first governor as well as Peter Faneuil (of Faneuil Hall fame) and Benjamin Franklin's family (although that great man is buried in Philadelphia.) To walk through the graveyard is to walk through history.

Granary Burying Ground Granary Burying Ground, Boston

I have been by this old cemetery many times, but this was the first time that I actually walked into it, poking around to look at the 17th and 18th century gravestones. Some of them are in marvelously good condition while others showed the wear and tear of exposure to centuries of New England weather. Sometimes I feel really self-conscious taking photos in Boston, but today I felt quite at home among the tourists as I took out my little camera and tried to capture the quiet beauty of the place on this sunny (but chilly) day at the end of autumn.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston

I know a lot of people don't like graveyards, but I find them beautiful. They are such restful places, as well as interesting. I find myself looking at the stones wondering who these people were and imagining what their lives were like. I wonder what people will think when they, years from now, look at mine.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston


  1. I'd always felt that the Harry Potter films were lacking extended dance sequences set to Nick Cave records.

    Glad they finally rectified that.

  2. I remember visiting that cemetery, chaperoning a 7th grade field trip, and wondering how on earth in downtown Boston it had survived!

  3. I see we are both Anglophiles! A lot of my blog posts are about the traditional foods of my English family. Great photos on this post (all your posts really). I visited old cemeteries in England to photograph family headstones, an important thing to those of us interested in genealogy.



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