Winter in Berne, Part II

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I recently returned to my “Amish roots” for some research: Berne, Indiana’s sprawling Plain community. If you missed Part I, you can read it here.  It was now time to visit the cemetery, the final resting place of Elizabeth Coblentz, the original Amish Cook.  I visit here every few years, usually on warm spring days when the dandelions begin to unfurl their yellow blossoms and the children at the Amish school across the street play during warm May recesses.  There’s something poignant and peaceful, almost comforting, about this cemetery and its as good a place as any to spend eternity. The one-room school-house across the street is a gentle reminder of the cycle of life, the young play, the old die and somewhere in between we live.  But today this final resting place was frozen, snow spread over the verdant grass like thick frosting on a homemade cake.  Many Amish cemeteries use stone markers to commemorate the final resting place of their dearly departed.  But this conservative community outside Berne uses only wooden grave markers, etched with the initials of the deceased.  It’s a powerful statement that these souls will spend death as they did life: unassuming and quiet.  I come to this spot trying to connect with something, although I’m never sure exactly what.  But on this day whatever connections are swirling in the spiritual sky are frozen, stiff a lead pipe.  So I quietly trudge back to the warmth of the car, I’ll come back another day. A warmer day…..

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The Discussion

  1. Angie Yoder says:


    Kevin, that was truly moving and beautiful. Thank you!

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  2. Kevin,
    It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks like that. My husband doesn’t get it at all when I say things like that or when I need to go to certain places to ‘connect’. Maybe that is a trait of writers.

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  3. Kevin: It reminds me of the song “I go to the garden alone….(while the dew is still on the meadow.) However, in the case you went when you could get there, and it just happened to have snowed. I understand your reasons.

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  4. Well her earth suit may be there but her new perfect body is with her HEAVENLY FATHER.

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