My inspiration this month extends to what human beings choose to preserve and disregard.
One significant preservation effort is for cemeteries. Cemeteries have been created and maintained for thousands of years around the world to memorialize those who have died – of course, cemeteries vary in size, level of upkeep, and the number of plots. I recently visited a cemetery added to Missouri State Parks within the last month. It is located near Arrow Rock, Missouri and you can find information here.
I’ve visited many cemeteries around the United States – from local cemeteries to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. All cemeteries I’ve visited carry a measure of solace and peacefulness; however, Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site is one of most serene cemeteries I’ve visited. Sitting in the shade of the huge walnut trees, I could ponder my own life and attempt to envision the lives of those who lay buried at the hollowed site. I highly encourage you to visit this place.
I am also inspired by what human beings disregard. Disregard in the extent of construction that once served as a prime location for human activity. But, over time, human activity ended, and the construction is now given back to nature or simply forgotten. There are many reasons for disregarding areas and structures: lack of need, cost of upkeep is untenable, environmental concerns, and a simple lack of attention over time. One singular and unifying principle: nature will reclaim what we choose to disregard.
Entire books have been written about the idea of how nature would reclaim the world. The World Without Us is a good place to visit for one example. Of course, Weisman’s book is a thought experiment, many novels, video games, and movies cover fictional accounts of what happens without humans taking care of what we construct. One fascinating website offers many places to fuel the imagination.
As a fantasy and science-fiction author coupled with a fascination of nature’s reclamation process, I am intrigued by human preservation efforts. The effort is vast, far-reaching, and can be exceedingly costly. Yet, I am also fascinated by the beauty in what occurs when we choose to disregard our efforts.
I offer challenge for the next month:
When you visit a place that is undergoing preservation efforts, such as a building, or you see a place that is undergoing a level of disregard, simply spend a few moments pondering the importance that the place has or once had.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.