Morning Glories: Slavonice Cemetery

For the past few days I’d been overwhelmed with the impressive architecture in the towns we’d been visiting. Size put aside, these small towns held their own in the grand scope of things. But it’s not the architecture that I wanted to write about today as I was captivated by a quiet roar.

Never have I been one to frequent cemeteries. Are there people like that out there?It was easy for me to assume that cemeteries are just creepy places. Dozens of bodies, buried under ground, certainly the energy there would be very strong and given the nature of the death, possibly very negative.

On a morning tour of the small town of Slavonice, I wandered off on my own, stumbling upon a lonely but welcoming cemetery. It was enchanting and I was being pulled in by an unseen force — something stronger than I could bare.

As I walked around, the distant song of small song bird guided me around. I was alone. I noticed several crosses but more so, the texture of the wrapping branches was what caught my eye. Twisting, like a serpent to its prey, overtaking the full frame of the cross so that it was barely visible. Vines in the form of a shield, protecting the weathering cross.

This was the first time in years that I’d dare to set foot in such a place. It may have come from a subconscious fear, of the unsettling thought that I too would end up there someday. That’s the eerie thing about visiting a cemetery. Like the deja vu of a place you’ve never been to — The spine-tingling realization that you have and the even weirder acceptance that you must stay there. Id you’re getting a little creeped out by this, don’t worry… you’re not alone.

Watching my every step, I examined several graves. This had to be one of the oldest cemeteries I’d ever been to. In the near distance, an older couple stooped down, paying respects to a lost love. Mother, sister? The thought of taking their photograph creeped across my mind. Slowly lingering in my mind, I chose against it. My hand itching at the heavy camera in my hand. The intimacy of such a setting made me uncomfortable, indecisive at the ethical choice at hand.

It was sad to see some graves — deserted and untouched by a caring human hand. Lives that meant enough to someone to require a proper burial, but not enough to be given the even occasional visit. I turned away, a strange feeling in my gut.

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