I then came upon another peaceful place.
On one of the bluffs lining the east side of Oaks Bottom is the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, a mausoleum and crematory rising monolithically out of the earth. I approached it, knowing it should be near and then seeing glimpses of its bulk between the leaf-heavy trees, and finally I had a clear view. Approached that way, on this wavering (not quite winding) dirt path with occasional muddy patches, made me feel like I was approaching a ruin from a Planet of the Apes film. It's about six stories high at that point, built into the bluff. The north side, which I saw first, is unadorned, but on part of the west-facing wall is a treat: a mural of a blue heron among the marsh water and grass of Oaks Bottom. (Here is a view of just the photo.)
The ashes of my relative Vesta Dunger -- born 1895, died 1990 -- are interred in that building, as are those of her husband Max (pronounced "Mocks"). It was a setting in a Chuck Palahniuk novel. And -- in a touch I'm sure Vesta appreciated -- it not only overlooks the marshland, it also overlooks Oaks Park Amusement Park. You can hear the visitors and the rides, not obtrusive but reminding you that life's going on.
I paused at the place. I'm glad I did. And I'm glad I got out for that walk.