Saturday, May 21, 2005

Howard Street Graveyard Fences

Some are pine, some cypress. Others are wire, entwined with vines. Some of the wooden fences have horizontal or diagonal planks, but most have pickets. Several picket fences are squared off at the top, all at the same level. Some are staggered, every other picket a few inches shorter than its neighbor. Other pickets are pointed or rounded.

Most of the gates rise up to a point in the middle, but not all. One graveyard has cement posts; one, metal; the rest are wooden. The older fences are showing their age. Moss and lichen have turned them green & gray. Some are leaning at rakish angles. An occasional picket is broken or missing.

The new white picket fence along the lane is gleaming in the afternoon sun, but dappled with shadows from the overhanging cedars and live oaks. It is stalwart and sturdy.

When I lived above the Village Craftsmen I would look out at the cemeteries every morning as I ate my breakfast, and recall stories of those lying beyond the fences. Now I feel some of their presence in my restored home, but I still visit their graves now and then with nine-month-old Lachlan. One day, I hope, he will grow to appreciate his unique island heritage.


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