Sanctuary, for me, is where you seek refuge from things that may be bothering you, where you relax and rejuvenate, where you find peace. This challenge was selected by our guest host Xenia of Tranature and posted by Ann-Christine.

I gave it a lot of thought. Where do I find peace? Where do I get away from it all? Where? Where? I came to the realization that I find peace and rejuvenate when I’m out taking pictures. My camera is my calming mechanism. When I’m out shooting, I concentrate on taking the best pictures, I forget what’s bothering me, I forget my physical problems. When the outing is over then my hip hurts and the world situation comes back into my head.

So I began the daunting task of finding pictures that would be my interpretation of sanctuary. These Lens-Artist challenges can lead to great introspection. To my surprise, I kept coming back to the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery! Now that’s odd, you’re probably thinking. Me too! This cemetery is beautiful, has history, it’s not crowded with tourists, has places to sit, has lovely flowers, and old head stones and statues to photograph.

My photo buddies and I usually visit there at least once a year, maybe twice. Things don’t change much so the challenge is to find new ways to shoot and create difference. It was built in 1849 and its architectural style is that of a Victorian Garden. The grave stones tell us about how life was lived back then and the people who lived it.

You can see, beautiful sculptures rather than head stones. And head stones that tell the sad story of two children lost, and one simple stone telling of what I assume to be a still born child.

The lovely flowers are maintained by a volunteer organization, and they are beautiful.

During our last visit, I tried to capture the flowers around the headstones.

And I finally found the cemetery cat!

I’m due for another visit. Maybe this week. It’s supposed to be in the 80s on Wednesday! It’s a great time to visit my sanctuary.

20 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Challenge 108: Sanctuary

  1. A beautiful post Anne and I know just what you mean. We have a similar cemetery here that goes back to our civil war. Many hero’s honored as well as many young people and infants. Ours is more historic than beautiful but peacefulness does pervade and it’s a favorite spot for photography. Your flowers tho make a huge and wonderful difference

  2. Anne, I too love walking in old cemeteries. Your images show the peace and serenity of that cemetery so well. And all those flowers…a beautiful place. I can see why you find inner peace there. I also agree about photographing and leaving every trouble behind. We should walk together one day… My favorite is Père Lachaise in Paris and Highgate in London.

    1. Thanks Ann-Christine! I would love to walk and shoot with you. Someday! I don’t know that I’d go to Paris again, but London sounds great. Let’s leave our troubles behind!

  3. I love cemeteries! The old ones are amazing when well cared for, and others, even abandoned, are something peaceful. I think you chose well. The living and the dead, history and stories past and ended, stories of the living yet to find their conclusion. Combine that with plants and sculpture and memories and you have found a perfect refuge and place for contemplation.

  4. Wow, thanks -N! It’s good to know that I’m not crazy!! Abandoned cemeteries make me sort of sad. Of course some of them are so old that the caregivers have also passed. People are forgotten and memories are dropped. There’s a lot of emotion to be captured there. To bring that out in a photograph is challenging but well worth the effort.

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