A winding staircase of stone headed upward on a lonely hillside. I parked my car with some apprehension. After all, I’d just driven an hour or more on back roads, going around and around in circles trying to find the place, only to find I had to drive a stretch of gravel that wound itself through a golf course! I hadn’t driven my old truck that day, I should have. My 9 year old Chrysler had a low profile, I could hear the stones kicking up and thunking my under carriage. I almost drove past it. The golf course road, wide open and every now and again with gaping golfers in their carts staring after me, closed suddenly with dense foliage. The road went from well ground gravel to dirt. Uh-oh! A glance to my left showed an opening, small, but there, and then the steps. Like the General Lee spinning a cloud when in hot pursuit, I coughed up a cloud of my own braking quickly. There were no sidewalks, no curbs, just trees. I pulled off as far as I dared, and got out. Standing there I almost couldn’t believe the serenity of the place. Hidden, yet up there, on that little rise, proudly enrobed with an old cast iron fence. I gathered my camera, deciding not to use any tripod or flash equipment, I just wanted this to be an organic experience as much as possible.
As I stepped through the gate, I tilted my head and heard the faint whispers of laughter and song – happiness at being remembered, joy in the visit.
“Un-named White Crosses” The Lamington Black Cemetery, Lamington, NJ ©TCWPHOTOGRAPHY all rights reserved.
A NJ Historical location, the large bronze plaque on the boulder told the short story of the forgotten place. The gate creaked in due fashion as I swung it inward and stepped gently onto the hallowed ground. The white crosses took my breath away. No names. The front fence the only man made barrier, the land wandered off into the woods as far as I could see. Bound on either side by heavy woods, a small bench welcomed any company it might find. An afternoon visit wound itself into hours spent in quiet reflection. The tinkling sounds of a stream, the up high chirp of a feathered friend, the only breaks in the silence. When I finally stood, I walked to each, lightly touching the crosses and stone alike – giving a greeting to each, a promise of remembrance, speaking a name carved in rock to echo the memory through the ages. My camera shutter as soft as my steps.
As I glanced back one more time, reaching out to pull the gate closed, I knew these are the moments my photography would touch my very soul. I hope in time you visit with me here, in the coming of days, in the viewing of my photos, you are touched in some way as well.
Griefly greetings –