A Clearing in the Forest
For generations, the family of Lemuel Fox tilled an east-facing hillside in the Shenandoah Mountains and grew corn there. They ceased farming here in the 1930s. This is their family cemetery. Its walls are made of stones uncovered by Mr. Fox and his grandsons when they plowed the fields.
Originally the Fox Cemetery was on open hillside, shaded by a lone cherry tree. Now a forest has overgrown the cherry tree and the cemetery. A few flowers the family planted in the enclosure survive and bloom in April; native orchids bloom in
the hillside forest where corn once grew.
Few of us can have a final resting site so personal and grounded as Lemuel Fox. His grave reminds us of a remark written in 1874 by an English novelist: “…for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” ―
George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life