Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lamb of God

I went to a cemetery today. Not something I'm in the habit of doing.

While I was wandering through rows of imposing granite gravestones and recumbent bronze plaques, I came across a beautiful, simple little white marble marker with a carved lamb on top, dated 1951. I wondered why so different from the rest and why was there only one date (birth) and no room for a second one to be added later (death).

As I continued walking, I came to the southern edge of the cemetery and discovered a fenced area with many small gravestones. Rather naively, at first I thought I'd stumbled upon a pet cemetery (several of the markers had carved bird and animal figures, some had cherubs).

But as I drew closer, I could see it was a children's cemetery and many of the stones were marked with just one year, some with two. The lamb and the dove were recurrent motifs, the stones so small, the single dates shocking. Such short lives.

So many little lambs.

Not the marker I saw, but the image comes from an interesting site about cemetery symbolism.

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