Some look at graveyards and cemeteries to be places of mourning and depression. It was so in the Great Britain till the Victorian age. People used to be buried in the land around the church building, which was mostly in the heart of the habitation. With the increased number of graves, the areas were becoming untidy, dirty and even unhygenic. That is when the idea of ‘garden cemeteries’ was mooted. Generally a place at an elevation or slightly away from the human habitation was selected and the dead were buried there. To make the process acceptable to the people, this area was developed as a garden where people could also go for a pleasant walk. Soon this was followed around Europe, and later on in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Montparnasse cemetery in Paris, though located in the heart of the town, near the tall Monparnasse Tower, is a lovely garden cemetery. While in Paris last week I paid a quick visit there.
Leaves of trees in the cemetery were changing colours and dropping down to the earth on the arrival of the autumn.
Who says the dead are not conscious of the changes of weather?
Come take a look at what I saw.
I quietly entered through this gate.
I respectfully placed a blazing red leaf on this black grave and left the cemetery, as quietly as I had entered.
*Hear Nat King Cole singing the lyrics of Ed Sheeran ‘Autumn leaves keep falling …’
Photos, text and copyright K.J.S.Chatrath
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