"Yet another unseasonably warm November day
The quiet of the graveyard
Across the road the vitality of a schoolyard at recess
life and death
side by side
May understanding come to our hearts and we transcend the cycle of birth and death."
Brookline's Old Burying Ground is home not only to some of the town's most prominent citizens, but also to several slaves who were buried in unmarked graves near their owners. This piece of Brookline history has only recently been unearthed. It seems fitting that these bodies, owner and owned, now are inextricably joined, nourishing the verdant grass, soft moss, and magnificent trees of this place. Indeed, being here I can really feel the spirit of Thich Nhat Hanh's words, to paraphrase, "I am the slaveowner who lives in the big house, and I am the slave that works finger to the bone to serve the master, I am the body feeding the grass and I am the child running on the grass calling joyfully to my friend."