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.