Thursday, April 11, 2013
Thoughts on letterboxing in cemeteries
As far as letterboxing in urban areas, it doesn't really get better than cemeteries. They are typically pretty quiet and are full of great hiding spots for letterboxes. I have planted many graveyard letterboxes, and I have found even more. Clearly, I have no issue with cemetery boxes. But I know others do.
I think I can sum up the concern as follows: that it's not respectful to letterbox in cemeteries. I don't agree, obviously, but I can understand where that view comes from. I think it's the idea that our ancestors are buried or interred there and we should do nothing but go to "give our respects" when in cemeteries.
But at their basic, cemeteries are beautiful places filled with art and sculpture, interesting architecture and gardens, and large open spaces filled with paths, valleys and nooks. They are quiet but welcoming places that beckon you to come for a stroll. And in fact, some cemeteries integrate walking and jogging paths within them, going out of their way to specifically invite people to come through - see Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto for example.
I agree that you should never disrespect a cemetery - in the same way that you should never disrespect the forest or library or park or wherever else you're letterboxing. Different actions in those places are disrespectful: it's disrespectful to litter in a forest but it's okay to eat on the trail, whereas it's usually not appropriate to eat in a library - for instance. In my view, letterboxing is approrpriate in cemeteries as long as you're being respectful to the cemetery - not interfering with other's visits to the cemetery, not altering or damaging stones, and planting boxes that are appropriate for the location.
Anyways. Not all letterboxes are for all letterboxers, so if you disagree, you can not letterbox in cemeteries. It is a shame though - there are some amazing things to be seen there. I will continue to both plant and find in them... Actually have a continuing series being planting in far-flung cemeteries, and some new series planned for Toronto ones. I hope the boxes will be visited by many as they are some great locations for urban plants with few muggles...