Looking Up the Hill at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at Frederick & Parksley

Today’s ride took me over to campus to fetch my car after its exciting weekend parked in a lot. The day was ridiculously sunny and the sky a wild blue and I was feeling like quite the lucky duck, with my free afternoon (meetings cancelled!) and my sweet ride. I took a slightly different route since I didn’t have to hurry and rode down Maryland, past the library, and took a right on Saratoga. I negotiated the crowds passing through the business district and that 23 bus that seemed intent on running me onto the sidewalk, and then it was easy breezy empty streets through West Baltimore, past boarded up and burnt-out row houses, busy schools, urban gardens, other bicyclists, and that car that insisted on beating me over to that soft left onto Lipps. I slowly climbed the hill toward Caton Avenue and got off to do a quick tour around Mt. Olivet Cemetery. I pass this place all the time, but I never take the time to go inside, so I spent today’s meeting time in there. Mt. Olivet, apparently known as “The Resting Place of Methodist Bishops,” is old. Some of the graves mark deaths that happened back in the 19th century, and their gravestones are worn away, sometimes just a pile of blocks. Other graves are much newer, including the one in the back that still has its fresh dirt on top. It was incredibly quiet in there, and the view of downtown and points south and west was beautiful. I snapped this picture looking up the hill at row after row after row of headstones and crumbled marble and statues, interrupted by a tree or two and that piercing blue sky. We are all going to die, but we usually operate as if it won’t happen to us. Looking around today, though, I saw signs of it everywhere–this graveyard that still has open lots for sale, Loudon Park National Cemetery and its Confederate dead over on Wilkens, that new funeral home opening on Leeds Avenue in Arbutus–I might not be thinking about dying right now, but there’s an industry doing it for me. My consolation? We’re all going to do it, which means we don’t have to do it alone. I continued my ride to school, strapped the bike to the car, and retraced my steps home. It’s faster in the car, but not by much.

One thought on “Looking Up the Hill at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at Frederick & Parksley

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