At Rest

Under a blanket of cold.

When the ground freezes and seems like stone or metal, I am always reminded of Christina Rossetti’s In the Bleak Midwinter – a poem later turned into a hymn that is most commonly sung during the Advent season.  It was one of my Father’s favorites but he found it very sad.  I once saw it making him cry when I was a child.  The line in particular: “Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.”  I was again reminded of this today (January 30, 2019) as I was the other day, and many cold winter days.  The line pops into my head often in this season.

Today, as I took my lunchtime walk, I went past Old North Cemetery.  Everything was  peaceful – everyone asleep under the blanket of a cold, iron-like earth.  Windswept, quiet, grey.  Grey clouds moving along the horizon with peeks of blue.

The cemetery is sometimes referred to as the Gardner Burial Site – some of the earliest who were interred there were from the Gardner family and originally the site was a private family burial site for the family.  Appropriate, since West Chester Street is just a few steps away and the Gardner clan as half-shares (in the early settlement of Nantucket by Europeans) lived along West Chester as they lived farther afield from the full-shares who lived closer to Washing Pond in Sherburne.  The road is basically the oldest on Nantucket – leading from the original settlement at Sherburne into Town and the later settlement at Wesco – which is basically Town and which provided a better harbor.

Maria was, of course, related to people on both sides of the aisle so-to-speak.