By Jeremy Patton
Before driving home after a hike, Gabriel and I stopped at the cemetery and walked among the old stones; many were worn and illegible. Others had been replaced by unworked sand stones from a nearby creek. I wondered how long it would be until the features of the forest that I loved, the cliffs, rock shelters and natural arches, would be reshaped by time? How long until they would be unrecognizable, like the old stones?
The new side of the cemetery was more modern. It was decorated with plastic flowers; names were etched clearly on shiny monuments. Their descendants did not give quite the same attention to the old side, likely because its names and memories had faded.
Gabriel knelt before an old stone and squinted. “I can barely make this one out. “Tandy Bolton, born February 16, 1862, died February 23, 1893.” That’s today. Today’s Tandy’s birthday.”
He stared at it for quite a while, then gazed into the forest.
“Happy birthday Tandy.”