Exploring Winkler, Part 5: Neureinland (Again)

I returned to haunt this rewilding cemetery at dusk.

Stepping carefully through the corn, I turned to check my footprints.

There were none.


My last photo at the Discovery Nature Sanctuary was taken at 8:33pm. By 8:51pm, I was back at the enticing trail that I knew would lead to Neureinland Cemetery. I stared into the sun sinking low on the horizon. Would I dare?

With no one there to tell me no, my curiosity piqued beyond measure, I set out.

In this liminal twilight hour, I had to. You understand.

Um, by 9:03pm I was definitely losing the sun, my phone’s battery power, and also my sightline to the tree that marks the cemetery itself. The lovely path had given way to tall, mature cornstalks overhead, crowding out the sky.

I should not be here, doing this. This is stupid. Very bad.

I kept on.

I went pretty slow, stepping carefully so as to leave the corn alone, while remembering that one time Andrew and I saw a bear on the road that quickly disappeared into a nearby cornfield. So I guess bears lurk in the cornstalks on occasion. Hopefully not on this particular occasion. At this point I was too far into this adventure. No going back. (It’s not like I could outrun a bear, anyway.)

I felt I had lost view of the cemetery tree a long time ago. I continued resolutely through the jungle of corn, even as the sun descended ever lower.

And then suddenly I found myself emerging from the corn into the very cemetery I was seeking.

The cemetery was re-wilding itself. Tall grasses and badgers had returned. So had I.

Who would even venture here, slowly, carefully, on foot, like this, ever? Probably just me, right?

I exhaled. I felt safe here, for some reason. (Despite the sinking sun, low phone battery, and potential hungry bears.)

I turned back to see from whence I had come:

HOW. (Am I… a ghost?)

And then… I explored.

Badger hole. YIKES.

Found my uncle’s grave.

My grandfather’s writing: “June-Aug 1937”

A badger lives under my uncle’s stone.

And then… it was time to return from whence I had come.

I could not see how I would meld back into the corn… but the way opened up as I approached.

When I emerged from the corn, I felt relief, and took a picture of my path ahead:

And took a picture from the other direction, of what I was leaving behind:

And then, when I was nearly back at the car, I took one more picture. The time was 9:24pm. Time for bed. (The next day was going to be very busy!)