Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Scribblings.... Pilgrimage

There was only one place outside of Buenos Aires that I really wanted to get to during my visit to my son at Christmas-time, and that was the town of Quilmes. And specifically, I wanted to visit the cemetary there, to pay my respects at the resting-place of May Maxwell. An American Baha'i, who lived most of her life in Canada, and was known as the "Mother of the Canadian Baha'i community", she passed away in Buenos Aires in 1940, and knowing I would be that close to her grave, I felt drawn to go to pay my respects, to say a little prayer.

Sylvia, the tour guide who took us around the city one day, knew nothing about a cemetary in Quilmes, but said she'd find out, and make arrangements for a driver to bring us out there. It's normally a 40-minute drive, but we chose to leave at noon, which of course, had us sitting in slow traffic as we traversed the city. I didn't mind that much, as it gave me a chance to people-watch. How do people manage to look so cool and elegant in this heat? was my constant wondering question!

We passed by skyscrapers and bridges, parks and schools, the port, blocks of apartments... out to the city's outskirts where odd little groupings of rough huts were obviously also home to some of the poorest of the city's people. On we went, and soon found ourselves traversing the streets of Quilmes, which was a far bigger town than we'd expected. I was glad we hadn't opted to travel by train. Who knows how far we'd have had to walk to get to the cemetary from the station?

As soon as our driver had left us off, just inside the gates of the cemetary, I began to walk down the path, and just a short distance along, I spotted what I knew was May Maxwell's gravestone. I'd seen a picture, and it is very distinctive.

What a peaceful spot it was. The only sounds were gentle birdsong and what seemed like far-distant traffic. There was no special ritual I needed to perform. A few silent prayers, a few moments communing with the spirit of a woman who had given so much to my faith, whose daughter became the wife of the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, (and whose home I had the pleasure of visiting during my 1991 pilgrimage to the Holy Land).

As I began to explore the area around the grave, I realised that quite a few Baha'is have been buried in the vicinity, so the gravestones about bore, in Spanish, phrases and quotes from our Writings. Some, I could identify, and others I could only repeat the words without being sure of their meaning. I found it very comforting to encounter the symbols and words of my Faith here, and I was so glad that my son and I had made this small pilgrimage, that I had visited her resting-place and paid my respects.


This "pilgrimage" is for this week's Sunday Scribblings. There was a problem with Mr Linky on the site, but it seems to be fixed now. If not, check the Sunday Scribblings comments section for links to other pilgrimages.

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At 18/1/09 1:55 pm, Blogger dormouse74 said...

What a lovely post. Thank you for opening a little window on your faith and a place and person that matter to you :)

At 18/1/09 5:06 pm, Blogger Tammie Lee said...

How nice that you were able to make this pilgrimage and with your son with you. How nice that you were able to have a slow drive there to enjoy the scenes and maybe engrave the journey even deeper into your being.

At 18/1/09 5:55 pm, Blogger Mary said...

I love the contrast between the bustle of the city and the calm of the grave site.

At 18/1/09 7:08 pm, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

A lovely pilgrimage - peacefulness exudes from your writing and the photograph of the cemetery.

At 18/1/09 7:19 pm, Blogger Granny Smith said...

Travel is at its best when you can open up eyes and heart to the scenes around you. This was a pilgrimage I enjoyed sharing with you with a glimpse into your faith and its history.

Thank you,

At 18/1/09 8:56 pm, Blogger June said...

"The only sounds were gentle birdsong and what seemed like far-distant traffic."

...a perfect atmosphere for spiritual communing. A beautiful experience.

At 19/1/09 2:10 am, Blogger anno said...

Like the others who have commented, I enjoyed the peace and insight I found in this post, a pilgrimage to make from the comfort of my well-upholstered chair. Welcome back!

At 19/1/09 4:02 am, Anonymous tinker said...

It sounds like such a serene pilgrimaage.
I'm just catching up after being away from the computer for a couple of weeks, and I'm glad to see you were able to spend time with your son over the holidays, Imelda. It's lovely to see you again.

At 19/1/09 5:10 am, Blogger Amber said...

Do you know, i never know that this was your faith? How did I miss that? I find it such a beautiful path. How did you come to it?

Thank you for sharing.


At 19/1/09 9:22 am, Anonymous Cam said...

A nice post. So few people talk about what they truly believe.

At 19/1/09 10:21 am, Blogger linda may said...

That really is a pilgrimage on many levels.
Hey the word verification I got here was nonstat kind of links in does it not?

At 19/1/09 11:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could feel the hushed hot air of the graveyard, and wanted to press my face against the cool stone.

Beautiful and a lovely testament to the peacefulness of your faith.

At 20/1/09 4:55 am, Blogger Little Red said...

I love cemeteries. There's something peaceful about them. Also, I've heard of this faith. I saw a picture of the most beautiful palace type of place, and the man who had it hanging in his store told me it belonged to that faith. I'd really like to see it in the flesh someday.

At 20/1/09 8:15 pm, Blogger Judy Merrill-Smith said...

A beautiful site (those wings!), and a beautiful post.

At 20/1/09 10:11 pm, Blogger Marbel said...

Lovely! And thanks for the welcome!


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