Relics of Memory and Light

I must have passed Woodlawn Cemetery thousands of times, driving down Woodward, but never stopped until today.
I'm always looking for new spots with great scenery to walk Smart and Fluffy, and although newer cemeteries give me pause, filled with such fresh grief, older ones seem more welcoming and peaceful. The older cemeteries like Woodlawn are also a testament to the talent of Detroit's architects and artisans. 
Bad photo, but oh, how the window reflects onto the marble on either side.
I imagine the spirits happy to have company, and of course I imagine them as dog lovers, undisturbed by racing paws and curious noses.
Smart takes in the view.
The mausoleum where I am first bewitched by stained glass.
Woodlawn Cemetery is noted for its exceptional quantity and quality of mausoleums, and if you peek inside them when the light strikes in the most magical way, they are ablaze. One could easily spend an afternoon just looking at stained glass. For more about Woodlawn's history, see the excellent Night Train. 



There were many flowers left from Mother's Day, and I was reminded how lucky I was to have my grandparents around into my twenties and thirties. Honestly, even now I don't think of them in the ground or in ashes; I think of them as staying with me in talismans I have...

in my grandpa's paintings that I can see from where I'm typing, in my Disneyworld Mickey Mouse locket ring from the first time I visited the grandparents in Florida when they retired... and in the scent of lilacs in Woodlawn's May air redolent of my other grandma's perfume.
Not my grandmother, but beloved as all mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers are.

2 comments:

Laura B August 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM  

These pictures make me feel more confident about my move to Detroit. I just got a teaching job in eastpointe and am looking for somewhere to live. I also have a dog. Can you suggest any places to live that are walking distance to belle isle that are reasonably priced for a first year high school teacher?

Belle Isle Home September 21, 2013 at 8:51 PM  

Hi Laura, welcome to Detroit. You may have already found a place, but if not, I would suggest spending some time walking around and driving around neighborhoods you are considering to get a feel for them. West Village http://thevillagesofdetroit.com/west-village/ might be a good place to start. Probably more biking distance than walking distance, though. Let me know where you end up and how it's going. I'm so happy to hear that the blog helped you feel more comfortable with the city -- It's obviously far from perfect, but to steal from Dave Eggers, it's a heartbreaking work of staggering beauty.

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