While going home this past weekend I drove though a lot little towns, and like a many of the little towns in this part of the country they were mostly narrow strips along a main road. They’re all really quite darling and one of my favorite parts about them is you can see basically all of the town while just driving through. One of the things I saw in all of these towns was (guess what) little cemeteries.
A lot of there were just small plots of land behind churches or even one in someone’s backyard, and there would be two or three in each town. There wasn’t anyone in them when I was there, but it was a cold day, so everyone was probably just being more sensible than me and not running around outside. But they were still a casual part of the town, nestled in among the houses and family stores. They didn’t have any fences or anything separating them off, but they were just part of the town.
I guess the point I’m trying to make it is, is that the cemeteries were normal in these little towns. Not just that they were needed and accepted, but that they weren’t anything weird or scary. They just took up their space and blended into the next space. No one was trying to make them anything but what they were, no one was trying to make them fancy. They were just allowed to exist where they had been put and no big or little deal was made about them.
And I thought, as you think when driving for several hours with nothing at all to do but look and think, wouldn’t it be beautiful if we allowed each other to exist as these spaces do? Of course they aren’t people, they can’t think and don’t have to consider morality, but I think the analogy can be made. Why couldn’t we look at each other, accept them as who they are, and allow them to be that person without labels or distinctions. You be you, I’ll keep being me, and we’ll each keep taking up our space and blending gently together where we touch. We can’t be islands alone in the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t love and respect each person as they are.