Dust to dust


Dearly departed
Unto dust thou shalt return
The circle endures

Rebecca, wife of Thomas, died January 27, 1869 at the age of 50. She is buried, surrounded by her family, in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Pensacola, FL. Her white granite gravestone is encased in the base of an old oak tree. The bole is at least 9 feet in circumference. That would mean that the tree began to grow about the same time as Rebecca’s interment. Perhaps it was planted intentionally at the same time.

The spread of the base covers her entire burial plot. I can only imagine that the roots of this majestic oak have encased her casket as snuggly as her gravestone.

5, 7, 5

Haiku Friday is hosted by Lou at LouCeeL.


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow that is fascinating.


  2. Nise says:


    what an amazing discovery


  3. Maggie says:

    Just. Wow. Really.


  4. patois42 says:

    I love the thought of my body fertilizing such a magnificent tree.


  5. Love this – Your words match your images so well.


  6. Seriously one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.


  7. Melisa says:

    That is so interesting and weird at the same time!

    I’m starting to think that there are more interesting things to see in your area of Florida than in Orlando!


    1. Tara R. says:

      I’d love to be your tour guide should you ever find your way to our beaches.


  8. Joy says:

    What an amazing final resting place….really beautiful. These are great pictures Tara. I really love this…~Joy


  9. Lou Lohman says:

    I wonder how much of her substance now lives in that tree. In 1869, there were few, if any, concrete burial vaults, or even metal, hermetically sealed caskets. Her casket was most likely wood, which would have deteriorated over time, leaving the roots of the tree to nourish themselves with her ‘stuff’.

    Rebecca, wife of Thomas, lives on in that tree.


    1. Tara R. says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. It appears that the tree took root in the center of her plot, at the heart of her final resting place.


  10. Carrie says:

    So are the words on the tombstone facing the tree?

    I suspect that instead of someone deliberately planting it a wayward acorn ended up being buried…maybe by a sneaky squirrel

    I need to go wandering in old graves. You can get the coolest inspirations


    1. Tara R. says:

      Yes, the top half of the stone is still visible, but a portion of the inscription is covered by the tree trunk.

      I’ll update the post to show the front of the stone.


  11. jesterqueen1 says:

    That is amazing. I’m suitibly impressed, though I suspect those roots worked into the casket, it being much larger and less stony than the headstone. Still. I’m delighted.


  12. Eric Alagan says:

    You make the earth fertile
    Your body nourishes life


  13. PattiKen says:

    I love this, Tara. What better guardian through the ages than that mighty oak?


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