Montmartre Cemetery (Le cimetière du Montmartre) is a little haven of peace from the bustling streets of Pigalle and Montmartre that overshadow it. Visiting the final resting places of the famous is quite fulfilling for some. And, there are indeed quite a few famous men and women who lie under the decorated and undecorated gravestones of this cemetery. But it perhaps feels more surreal and rewarding to observe life and nature take its course around its more obscure occupants. So many stories can be imagined between the two dates that earmark their lifetime on earth. Reminders of love and loss, some recent and some faded, lie engraved in these stones. Crumbling graves of those forgotten are claimed by the wilderness, moss and ivy draping them in lovely shades of green.
Take a long, unhurried walk through the narrow alleys and listen to the slow rustling of fallen leaves. Isn’t it a luxury to spend some time and appreciate the small joys and sorrows of our life? We take so much for granted in the rush of getting somewhere and doing something. It is a humbling experience to spend a few moments slowing down, getting lost, ambling along these small pathways that welcome death and new life alike.