Life has been busy this month. By the end of the month, we'll have spent three out of the four weekends in May out of the city. We welcomed a weekend in the District - and it's Ethan's birthday! - so we did what we do best, which is to explore (and eat).
I feel like, at one point in my life (in my childhood or teens, perhaps), my cultural upbringing would have made me turn up my nose at an event like Graveyard Grub, a gathering of food trucks at a historical cemetery in the Eastside of the city. But thank goodness I shed those kind of feelings and associations with cemeteries and sacred places as vacuously solemn long ago.
Over the years, my favorite visits to hallowed/sacred buildings are often those that involve life mixed in - people sleeping in the corners of a red-stoned Burmese temple, attempting to escape the dry, unbearable heat outside; children playing outside of, and Hispanic vendors peddling queso fresco and sugary drinks on, the steps of the church in Mount Pleasant, DC; the birds chirping loudly and flying in and out of windows in a Catholic church in Saigon, Vietnam.
And I was reminded of this cycle of life at this old, stately cemetery, where children ran around, dogs and their owners sunbathed on the green grass, couples explored the rolling grounds, looking for famous gravestones, and late 90s music and Pabst Blue Ribbon were served along with fare from DC Empanada and Captain Cookie and the Milkman.
One of the visits I had - to Wisconsin a few weeks ago, to attend the funeral of Ethan's grandmother - came to mind as I was sitting next to a giant stone obelisk. Having lost yet another wonderful female in our family and anticipating the birth of my daughter in late July, my thoughts were wrapped up in this idea of cycles, of birth and death, and the lives we live in between.