Sunday, April 29, 2018

Best Kept Secret..

She slides an old Amanda Marshall CD into the player of my jeep, and sits back. Her face is pensive and hard to read-she recently broke off her engagement with her long time boyfriend, and moved back home.

Our first stop is Tim Horton's for a medium-double-double, the usual driving nectar.
Today's adventure is about twenty-five minutes down Yale road, which used to be the old highway, back in the day before they replaced it in the middle of the valley that moves thousands of people daily.
Our destination is a town called Agassiz, and a historical grave yard off the grid of tourist's that flock to the Harrison lake resort.

My daughter, the adventurer, came across this graveyard against the mountain last year. I missed it when her father and I drove the same road last summer.

There's a small dirt parking lot just off an old country road which wraps around this small mountain situated in the middle of the valley. The mountain sits like an island surrounded by a pool of farmland.At the base of the graveyard is this simple shelter displaying a long list of family names and plot numbers. In fact, the list was longer than what appears for markers up the hill, although, the new spring growth was quite lush, and sprang up past your ankles-hiding almost anything.

Perhaps it was because we had limited time, that my daughter took the stairs seemingly two at a time. I huffed and puffed a stretch behind, but not without glee of course! what with my fascination of the past, fueling every step.

 I stopped numerous times along the climb to look to the left and to the right of me, the grave stones appeared to be positioned at random. But the information board at the bottom of the hill says otherwise.

As my daughter was nearing the top of the hill, she let me know I was nearing the end of the cemetery. It was then that I allowed a long lost friend to come forward (my good old senses and imagination that finds my writing mind). Its so quiet I said to my daughter, then from a distance I heard a bird. Just one. She then asked me if I could hear music (I did) just as I was joining her up at the top. For a glimmer of a moment I almost fell back to the years I believed that anything was possible...such as hearing music in a graveyard, just for two, but--that didn't last when through the trees I spotted a house. For a tiny moment I think the both of us were disappointed.

The interesting thing about old graveyards are that they embody our past (no pun intended), and hold unwritten stories that are left to our imagination, such as the family at the top of this hill, with markers with a dollar sign in the middle of the crosses. If not a sign of money, could it be perhaps a family crest? that's the thing about imagination, once you look closer your mind sees something else.

Also at the top is the Agassiz family, dully noted as the name of the town, which I always find fascinating-- connecting families with history to communities.

With our gradual descend down the hill I wanted to see all--and as much as possible before I left. I took a few more pictures, and whispered words to which were spelled on grave sites. My daughter waited at the bottom for me.

There is question when looking at a grave site on a hill, laying against a mountain. Why the mountain?
I read somewhere that the people didn't want to give up fertile farm land, but while this might be true, on the other hand, floods are known to spill in our valleys, as noted in historical documents and photos of the past.
Perhaps for both reasons these old grave markers find themselves here, with a view.

I have always found a great fascination with an old family plot with a wrought iron fence and gate. This particular one was surprising! and worth a share with my American friends. Cincinnati Ohio. In the sticks of Canada.

Things are a little creepy when your up there alone. Nonetheless, I remained utterly fascinated with time and people, and the way a forest could reclaim history if not for, well, people.

Lets not forget the little one's. Hazel, born January the 29th, presumably a cold month in the valley in Agassiz, lasting a mere 17 days in 1907. This is when I wish I didn't have such a superb imagination. This is when a grave stone can split you between fascination...and heavy heart. Poor little lamb, sleep well.

You cannot go, by way of your descent, without measuring what you missed on your way up, that being nature-tiger tails above your ankles, and patches of yellow dandelions mixed with fading daffodils at random. Then the wild bleeding hearts, which, gosh, seem so appropriate--but then again, all this nature falls almost as if its an oxymoron, what with death, and growing life.

Then there's the view. In today's time one would call it the million dollar view, but luckily this place of solitude is protected and rural enough to be quite literally passed by. Perhaps its-a-best-kept-secret.


  1. Great photos Dee. I love walking through old graveyards. Not sure why but I always have. HUGS

  2. Hi, Cap! good to see you.Old graveyards give us all kinds of (feels).Its the history of the area and people that intrigue me.Maybe you like the quiet of it all.A place of old can really speak to you.(hugs)and cheers to coffee and walks.Thank you for your visit and message:)