Action in a Resting Place

Concluding her remarks at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation roast recently, Hillary Clinton said, “…for each of us, our greatest monument on this earth won’t be what we build, but the lives we touch.” She was speaking about doing good deeds toward those living around us. But what about those who lived in the past, isn’t reaching out to them important, too?

Or ability to hope for the future is brought to us by those who hoped before. They may now be mute but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to speak to them; touch them in some way.

Understandably, the present strives toward the future, but there’s nothing to say we can’t, from time to time, turn around and walk backwards into it. In that way, momentum can be maintained while gazing back, with love and affection, on those who have come before. They might appreciate it, and our steps may be lightened by the expanded outlook on our place in time.

Moving forward with the enclosure of Wilder Cemetery in Dummerston, Vermont, three volunteers, Bill, Rob and myself, built another 12 yards of dry stone fence yesterday. We spoke to the past, and enjoyed each other’s company, all in the same moment.

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