Oakland Cemetery, built in 1850 and located in the heart of Cabbagetown Town in Atlanta, GA, is as serene and tranquil as one might imagine a cemetery to be. In contrast the MARTA trains screeching halts in the distance and the hustle and bustle of busy streets and livelihood parallel to the grounds you enter an ethereal realm in which removes you from this life. Walking the grounds was much like a walk through a museum, sections dedicated to lost lives of different eras, but also specific to race, class, and religion.
Footsteps click against the stone paths, some cracked while other give way to dirt paths and asphalt roads all the while leading you to a new part of the cemetery.
Clearly divided peoples lie beneath the Earth as you follow the paths, made noticeable by new markings on gravestones, proximity of the markers from one another, or certain land markings (perhaps a flag for example).
The sound of passing cars blend in with the sound of the wind rustling the dead leaves left behind by an abundance of now naked trees.
The colors have faded to neutrals. Yellows, oranges, reds, stained greys of the concrete tombstones set against a clear blue sky.
The Atlanta skyline in the distance, with towering buildings and the subconscious knowledge that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the area surrounding, in sharp comparison to some of small unassuming gravestones of the dead and lives forgotten.
Benches spread throughout the grounds, welcoming life to take a break for just a moment.
A greenhouse located on the far side of the cemetery being the most alive part (besides a few strangers you may pass) and just beyond a grassy knoll still untouched.
Although death may leave some unsettled, here peace envelopes not only the dead, but the living as well. There is a sense of calm that even the breeze perpetuates.