And so, on an early almost-spring day in the middle of almost nowhere, the silent sentinels stand near the field, patiently watching. They bear witness to the field. Presumably, there was a church here at some point because in the old days most people were buried in a “common burying ground” near a church on what was called “holy ground.” But the church is long gone. It’s just a figment of my imagination now. Perhaps the silent watchers could tell me differently, but they remain silent.
The field, however, still exists remarkably the same as it was a few hundred years ago. The buildings come and the buildings go, but the field stays. For now, the headstones stay as well, but they will go, too. Even so, the field will still remain. Then new buildings will come again, and new people will “go to ground.” Just another day in the life of the old field.
Was the ground “holy” because of the church? Or was it holy because it’s the only thing that gives life, stability, and a sense of continuity to people? The ground is as close as we can come to immortality in our present understanding. It is always there, always giving and receiving. There is nothing in our world we can imagine--no fantasy however far out--that does not include the existence of the ground. It is the primal being.
Sometimes the sheep from the nearby pasture escape and wander among the graves, lazily munching the grass. They mean no disrespect. Holy ground is holy ground after all, and the grass is just as green on either side of the fence.