Place of Rest

What I Found under a Maple Tree

One fall day, I decided to take a break from working my farm in upstate New York and drive to a distant town for supplies. It was good to relax and reflect on the passing year. I thought about the year’s crops, the sweat equity I earned, and about my family—how we were doing and where we were headed. I had packed my lunch and was looking for a quiet place to pull off and eat in the fall sun.

Soon I came upon the Holiest of Apostles Cemetery. It looked very comforting inside, with trees in brilliant color. I drove in.

The cemetery grounds were even larger than my farm. The land was covered with gravestones of every description: weeping angels, Michelangelo knock-offs, and granite crosses of every height. I spotted a sugar maple with leaves in full glory, and parked beneath it. I stretched my bones upon the ground, and unpacked my lunch. It wasn’t long before I looked around to see who was situated nearby.

Mildred Owen was to my right, and Anthony Lombardo to my left. I raised my soda can as to say hello and figured they wouldn’t mind my company.

It was quiet.

I heard no cows bellowing, as I do at home, and wondered what my cows might do if given all this grass to eat. I imagined them kicking their heels so high with excitement that many things would be up-turned or knocked to the ground. As they covered...

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.

About the Author

John Keidel lives on a farm in Penn Yan, New York.