This fear disappeared the year my father-in-law died. I stood at my husband's side as his father was buried in a beautiful, lush green plot in Libby, Montana. I remember the sun shining and it being peaceful and quiet. Nothing remarkable happened as we mourned his passing. Maybe that's what mattered.
When I tell people about the cemetery, they think of Birch Hill. But Clay Street Cemetery is the older of the two and doesn't require me to bike up a hill. I go there to read, write, think, and occasionally nap. I rode by it for a couple of years before ever stopping, and when I did it was out of sheer curiosity. There is only one wooden bench donated by Denali Elementary School (class of 1997-1998). My first year I visited only once. A few years passed before I returned. Then last year I went almost every weekend in the summer. This time I had stopped because I needed quiet and distance from a problematic friendship. There is no place more quiet and distant than the oldest cemetery in the city.
By the end of the summer I had journaled my with through the problem. I had decided it didn't matter if our friendship continued. I no longer could let this friend's behavior effect me. And like many resolutions, I make them and forget about them. And like many instances, the resolution magically is fulfilled. I hadn't realized it at first. I had returned to the cemetery this year to complete a reading assignment. Unfortunately, carb loading on a pile of pasta put me into a food coma and I fell asleep on the bench. I dreamed about writing in my journal the year before. I dreamed about my resolution. I dreamed about it coming true. When I woke up, I had this sudden peace and warmth in my heart. I realized this bad habit I had acknowledge the year before had finally died here.
I have yet to journal this year at the cemetery. I've meditated on other negative habits, but my plan to tackle them hasn 't been written down. When I do, my plan will include two things: First, letting go of negative perspectives I don't need anymore--anger, resentment, and doubt. Second, I'll shore up my vision for the future. One that includes a prosperous business, bringing choreography to the stage, and books to Nooks and Kindles. That will be the day I sit in Clay Street Cemetery and say goodbye to all the unhealthy negativity and make room for healthy habits that will realize better things to come.