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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

How to have an Adventure without Leaving the Greater Boston Area

Yes, to some graveyards are creepy looming reminders of mortality and pending doom, but to me they are fascinating, peaceful remnants of history and individuals wishing to share their stories. On my second attempt to find adventure I found myself exploring a previously unknown Boston cemetery, which may be the best one in the city. Forrest Hill cemetery was founded in 1848 and covers 275 beautiful acres. Founded as both park and cemetery the grounds also include a small lake which is an ideal place to stop and have a bite after exploring the many winding and turning paths. Without further adieu, here are my notes from my afternoon at the graveyard:

2:30: I have sat down to study a map outside the Forest Hill T stop. I apparently exited the wrong side of the station and have spent the last fifteen minutes wandering aimlessly in search of the illusive graveyard. Despites its attempts to allude me a I will be victorious. I did not spend a T ride to fail in my search for this old burial grounds.

2:45- EUREKA! I imagine this is how Archimedes felt when he sat in his bathtub and discovered the law of displacement. I have never found an ominous cast-iron gate and fence, leading into a wooded area whose depth I cannot gage, at the end of a street so appealing. The dense brush is calling for me to come explore and the ground is coated with a thick layer of vibrant leaves, still wet from last nights rain. If you attempt the journey make sure you take the Hyde park exit!

3:30- I have discovered the perfect tree. Its trunk is full of huge disfiguring knots that cause it to twist and contort on its way up. Its long serpentine branches create an expansive canopy that sweeps the ground. Red, orange and gold leaves gracefully create a glowing aura and corny and barf-worthy people have carved their initials in a hearts on the trunk. Standing underneath it reminds me of reading the secret garden as a child and wishing to discover my own hidden world.4:00-In the midst of the graves is a calm body of water, and a small marble bench on which I now sit. The surface of the water is only disturbed by the movement of a flock of geese. I find it fitting to have such a feature in a graveyard as many religions as mythologies include the idea of passing across some body of water in order to reach the afterlife. The ferrying of the dead from one world to the next. There are so many different levels and intricacies to this cemetery that one could really spend hours wandering through the gravestones, reading the epitaphs and peeking in the hobbit hole-esque (many are set into the sides of hills) mausoleums. There is contemporary sculptures interspersed amongst the old headstones and some of trees have these eerie translucent mesh cloths on. They remind me of a Christo wrapping.

4:25- I have just checked my phone and realized I have 5 minutes to make it back to the exit before it locks. Though, having to bust out of a graveyard as the night descends around me has a certain appeal I think its best to make it out on time.

4:40- Safely back on the orange line. I am full of energy and rejuvenated from the crisp air and long walk. I would highly recommend a trip to Forest Hill. Whether you want to walk, run or bike through the paths the cemetery is an ideal setting to spend a quite afternoon. All the noise and face-paced lifestyle of school and the city dissipates and, at last, one can take a much needed deep breath of fresh air.