We all know Auburn is world famous for its rugged and stunning trails, but every once in a while, a walker yearns for something more tame, more manicured, less steep.
If that sounds like just the sort of walk you'd enjoy, now is the perfect time to stroll over to the New Auburn Cemetery, which was recently spruced for spring.
You may be thinking, "cemetery?"
Yes, cemetery indeed, and here's why: The New Auburn Cemetery at the end of Collins Drive is in bloom. The walking paths (or roads) are well-tended, mildly sloping, and from them a visitor has a sweeping view of Auburn to the east, and to the west -- at the proper time of day -- may see a lovely golden sunset over Sacramento valley.
Tucked here and there under the cedars, dogwoods, and gingkoes are are an assortment of seating arrangements, perfectly positioned for someone who needs a rest and a cool drink of water.
From a shaded bench, a visitor might take in the view of the rolling green lawns while listening to birdsong in the trees or the chattering of squirrels.
For those who prefer to take the road less traveled may want to step off the path, as there are many delights to be found in the messages of Auburnites expressing their love for each other in sweet and beautiful ways.
Sometimes there's even wildlife to accompany you as you wander between headstones.
The cemetery is tinged with sadness, but that emotion is quickly overpowered by the evidence of love throughout the property. Love is in the well cared-for grounds, the memorials honoring Auburn's fallen veterans, it's in the fresh vases of calla lilies placed beside loved-ones' headstones.
If you haven't visited the New Auburn Cemetery in a while -- or ever -- I recommend visiting at dusk when all of the scenery takes on a honeyed hue. Take a friend. If nothing else, the cemetery may remind you that life is fleeting, and we should spend more time doing what we love.