I have been to Woodlawn Cemetery, which is located in the busy borough of The Bronx in New York City, a few times now. It is a great place for a walk or to seek out those who graced this world with their presence. I am sure that the idea of enjoying the outdoors in a cemetery can feel like an odd place. For me, it always leaves me with such a feeling to think back and cherish life, it grabs me because once you are inside the walls of Woodlawn, life can seem different. For some walking around a cemetery can seen as an odd experience but it shouldn’t be at all. This is the end of life and if we celebrate the start, we should do the same when it comes to an end.
On my very first trip I remember seeing of the animal cravings that you see and thinking two things. One, what fine cuts they were but second, what in the world were they doing in a cemetery. Was there a message behind them? Maybe some new trend when it came time to bury people. The more I saw them, the more that I wanted to know more.
My mind can really go places that it doesn’t need to at times and I thought, well maybe they are some covert symbol of a pagan group sending out a message to those still living. Only problem with that great theory, was that they were very random and sometimes not near graves really. So what could they be? Did aliens come down and make them when no one was looking? Well the truth was actually better and more interesting.
The cemetery which first opened in 1863, has a lot of trees. In fact it has so many trees on it’s 400 acres that you can find more then 140 unique species on your walk. Trees however just like people, die at some point. Be it from age or from storms, trees do not live forever. And that’s where the secret to these animals come from. They are cut from trees that have fallen or seen better days before they fall and do damage. A tree is given new life and give the cemetery a touch of art where you did not expect any. With such great detail these animals add not the lore of the cemetery but also helps in the cycle of life that cemeteries are an important part of.