Little Mountain Girl
About twenty years ago I lived in Boulder Creek, California, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Very near is the town of Felton. Both towns were established in the mid 1800s.
In Felton there is an old two-lane road that winds through the mountains and ends in Santa Cruz. I had never been on it before and wanted to take a long pleasant drive that day, so rather than taking Interstate 80 to Santa Cruz I turned off the main street and headed up that old road to enjoy mountain scenery. I never got to Santa Cruz that day. About a mile up the road I saw an old cemetery. It had a tall wrought iron fence enclosing the grounds and two beautiful gates, which were open, so I drove in. I have always liked to exolore old cemeteries and would wander around to find the oldest graves, read the tombstones and wonder about the person who had been buried there. That time there was no wandering, for it seemed like my car had a mind of its own. I turned right on the first lane, drove slowly for about twenty yards and stopped. I looked to my right where a lot of tall tombstones stood. In the third row back I noticed a small flat plaque and knew that is what was calling to me.
A little girl, not quite two years old, had been laid to rest there in the late 1800s. As I read her name tears began to slide down my cheeks. My heart filled with love for her. There were no other graves nearby with the same family name. I wondered where her parents were buried. I stood there a long time crying. I planted a kiss in my palm and bent down to touch the plaque. When my hand touched it I heard a small cry from far away. No one else was in the cemetery, which was all on flat ground and I could see the whole property from that grave. I looked back down at the grave and my eyes were drawn to a smooth round wooden ball near the plaque. I tried to pick it up, wondering what it was. It did not come up easily so I tugged at it. It was a one piece wooden doll, about four inches long. Any features of a face had worn off, but there were slight indentations where the features were. The neck, shoulders, arms and legs were well defined. There were no fabric remnants attached, but slight stains of dull red and black were around the waste. I sensed that the doll had been wrapped in a tiny blanket that was held on with string tied around it. I took off my head scarf and tore a small piece off it, wrapped it around the doll and tied it securely. I took a brush out of my purse and using the handle dug a deep hole, placed the doll in and covered it. I found a small flat rock and
tamped the soil down, leaving the rock there.
I drove home in a saddened state, feeling I had once done the same thing at that grave in another time.
Little Mountain Girl
Little Mountain Girl, did I know you in another life?
I feel such strong love for you and will remember you.
You rest here alone with your dolly for comfort.
Be at peace little one and know you are greatly loved.
You are in a beautiful place now where it is safe.
Let your spirit ever grow and soar free beyond
All Earthly cares and ties which no longer hold you down.
Thank you for calling to me and letting me be a part
Of the love you once knew here. Be at peace little one.
© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns