Last Sunday was beautiful, crisp and clear, an unexpectedly perfect afternoon to drive with my mother and my 16 year old son Zeke to visit the cemetery where my father and grandparents are buried. It's on a hill, very verdant, my grandmother chose a spot halfway up, just below the Workman's Circle section, which pleases my mom a lot. As Zeke noted, it's beautiful if you look uphill, you can hear the birds singing, but once you look downhill, there's a clear view to the Jersey Turnpike and a factory belching smoke. A very New Jersey cemetery.
What was lovely was that Zeke really engaged with my mom and me, asking questions about my dad and my grandparents. As we walked away from their graves, downhill toward the car, Zeke said "This reminds me of a poem we're studying in school," and proceeded to recite a poem that perfectly captured the day, and the moment. It's by William Cullen Bryant, and here it is: