Thursday, December 8, 2011
Seven colours of a cemetery rainbow
On a trip to Tasmania last week, I was fortunate enough to find a few lovely, old cemeteries on my travels. The classic Tasmanian summer weather of regular sun showers mixed with bouts of sunshine turned out to be the perfect recipe for a good spot of cemetery visiting.
While driving towards Geeveston, a small town in southern Tasmania on the Huon River, I came across the Jackson's Point Historic Roman Catholic Cemetery just outside the small town of Franklin, about 45km south of Hobart.
Although I'm not related to any of the people buried here (well, not that I know of, anyway), I couldn't resist stopping along my journey to visit this little historic Catholic cemetery. The sun came out for a convenient 15 minute period - just in time for me to take a few snaps and appreciate the beauty of this hillside cemetery which looked over the Huon valley and river below.
Of course, sunshine in Tasmania is often followed by rain (I guess that's why it's so green on the island) and rain it did soon after my 15 minutes of cemetery traipsing. However, the rain came hand-in-hand with a beautiful rainbow that spanned the valley, it seemed to link the cemetery with the mountains across the valley. What a scene!
What was also interesting about this cemetery was the variety of crosses that marked the graves - all sorts of Celtic crosses on both new and old graves. Most of the crosses were carved from stone, quite grand most of them.
As with many of my cemetery visits, I often find their is one special grave among all the others that really highlights the sadness of losing someone. This tiny, simple wooden cross got to me ... it made me wonder whose grave it marked. Perhaps it was a recent grave, perhaps it was the grave of a child, or a loved partner, or an honoured parent or a cherished friend. It reminded me of the many unmarked graves that I've discovered in my own family's history.