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Historic Jacksonville Cemetery
February, 2005

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Jacksonville Cemetery is part of the historic town's most interesting site, in my opinion. It's earliest arrivals came at about the same time as the Gold Rush, in the 1850's. The first time I drove up the steep road, there was so much snow I was afraid to pull off the side of the road and almost got stuck just trying to make the turn around the main drive.


The next time I went, less than a month later in early February, the snow had all melted and there were little flowers popping up everywhere. Life truly does go on, even in a graveyard.
The setting is as peaceful as a cemetery should be, shaded by massive Madrone trees.
Some of the memorials were elaborately done...
...and some were as simple as a tree trunk.
The saddest ones tell of the babies taken from the earth before they could celebrate one year of life.
This full length model was more spooky to me than the rest for some reason.

As I walked around reading about the people who had died here, the only sounds I heard were gentle ones like these fluttering birds and scampering squirrels. However, when I was finally getting ready to leave, I heard a stronger sound than I'd heard before and looked in its direction. There was a big jackrabbit standing tall and looking right at me. He loped off quickly when I went for my camera, and at that moment I had the thought, "If I had one wish it would be that animals would know not to be afraid of me and that I would never hurt them. They would want to be around me as much as I want to be around them."

I truly believe animals are great examples and teachers and are here partly to show us things we might miss in our own lives, but can see more plainly in nature. So, as you could see from my "Message from Hawk" page, I don't take sightings of animals lightly and the last thing I do before I go to bed each night is read in my Animal Medicine book about all the animals I saw that day. It ALWAYS blows my mind!

So last night, in looking up what messages Rabbit holds, I came across this neat story:

"A long time ago - no one really knows how long ago it was - Rabbit was a brave and fearless warrior. Rabbit was befriended by Eye Walker, a witch. The witch and Rabbit spent much time together talking and sharing - the two were very close. One day as they were walking, Rabbit said, "I'm thirsty." Eye Walker picked up a leaf, blew on it, and then handed Rabbit a gourd of water. Rabbit drank but didn't say anything. When Rabbit said, "I'm hungry," Eye Walker picked up a stone and changed it to a turnip. Rabbit ate with relish but still didn't say anything. When Rabbit tripped and fell, she used a magic salve to heal his great pain and still he said nothing.
Several days later as Eye Walker was searching for her friend, he was nowhere to be found. When she finally met up with him by accident, she asked why he was avoiding her. He answered "Because I am afraid of you and your magic. Leave me alone!"

She responded, "I see - I have used my magical powers on your behalf and now you turn on me and refuse my friendship." Rabbit did not even see the tears in Eye Walker's eyes. He said he hoped never to see her again.
Even though Eye Walker could have killed Rabbit right then, she refrained, but cursed him with these words, "From now on, you will call your fears and your fears will come to you." Now Rabbit is the Fear Caller. He goes out and shouts, "Eagle, I am so afraid of you." If Eagle doesn't hear him, he calls louder, "Eagle, stay away from me!" Eagle, now hearing Rabbit, comes and eats him.

As this story shows, Rabbit medicine people are so afraid of tragedy, illness, disaster and "being taken" that they call those very fears to them to teach them lessons. The keynote here is: what you resist will persist - what you fear most is what you will become." Here is the lesson: If you pulled Rabbit, stop talking about horrible things happening and get rid of "what if" in your vocabulary. This may signal a time of worry about the future or of trying to exercise control over that which is not yet in form - the future. Stop now!"

I could certainly see this rabbit tendency in myself, as I know that sometimes I give so much attention and energy to what I'm afraid of that it has no other choice but to find me. Spending the day in a graveyard was a good way to ponder what is important in my life and how I want to choose to live it while I'm here.

When I got home that night, I looked on the forum to see what the "Fulltime Graduating Class of 2005" was up to, and saw the following motto posted on their website and thought "How appropriate to my day!"

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather sliding in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming, 'Wow, what a ride!'" - unknown

I could tell that was a message the universe really wanted me to pay attention to because the next email I received from Don, my best friend and greatest inspiration, had that at the bottom under his signature. OK, Don, you always gave me the best advice and you never, ever let me down - so all I've got to say is: "Let the ride continue!"

Web www.MaliasRV.com
Where to now?  
Another Jacksonville cemetery page on Malia's Miles site.  
Read an article I wrote about discovering life lessons in cemeteries at RVTravel.com  
My visit to the Cowboy Church at: Lake Creek
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