Most people wouldn’t put a four foot wide picture of a cemetery in their living room. But, as of just a couple weeks ago, my family isn’t most people. The picture you see here now hangs in our living room over the couch. And I’ll tell you, it’s a real conversation starter. “Um, is that a cemetery?” “Yeah.” “Huh.”
This photograph has sentimental value to us. It was taken by my wife’s uncle, David Kaufman, a Canadian photographer and documentary film maker, and a wonderful artist. One of David’s passions is capturing forgotten or overlooked or disappearing places.
This picture is part of a series of photos David has taken of Jewish cemeteries in Poland. This one in particular is in Warsaw. You see, Polish Jews were decimated in the Holocaust during the Second World War and so there is no one left to care for these cemeteries. Many are rundown, forgotten, abandoned. In some cases tombstones have been pushed over. A far cry from our beautiful Rose Hill Cemetery, where I’m guessing many of you parked this morning.
But what is stunning about this photo is the way, despite having no one to care for it—out of the midst of death and abandonment, new life springs forth. Look at how the trees have grown up from among the graves and now create this beautiful canopy, with the path leading to the horizon.