In One of the Woods…

…that I frequent, the trail winds past a clearing. (Sorry. Bad cellphone photo:)

A family cemetery with a dozen graves. The oldest stone was chiseled in 1911. Three infants were buried here in the 1920’s. They trucked a paterfamilias up here as recently as 1982.

Sun setting behind the Blue Ridge. The moist, cold sod carpeted with fallen leaves. Our chop-fallen forebears’ bones mouldering just beneath my bended knees, pullulating with worms warmed by the deeper soil…Can’t think of a more pleasant pastime for a winter’s eve.

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
These rebel powers that thee array;
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 146)