This was the third dolmen we had visited in three days whose name tied it to the legendary King Arthur…and three times three is a magical number. It is certainly a magical site and quite unexpected as you walk between the gaily painted bungalows of the little coastal town of Newport. A gate opens into a green oasis, bounded and shadowed by high hedges, cool in the midday sun, where you come face to face with the oddest little dolmen. My first thought was just as odd…that it reminded me of Ani, the way she sits with the front paws together, demure and expectant, yet somehow regal and ready to pounce in joyous abandon… there was that kind of ‘feel’ to the place. Very much alive.
Like most of these sites that were once houses of the dead, the overriding impression is not one of melancholy, but of warmth and gladness. You can understand it on a bright, summer’s day, but I don’t know why it should be so in the depths of winter or in pouring rain…yet so it is. There is no sense of the macabre in walking where the bones of our ancestors once lay, no sadness or ghoulish tremor; just a sense of gentle peace and reverence, which says more about our ancestors’ attitude to death, perhaps, than anything we might deduce from the formal study of the past. It is as if they already knew that Life cannot die…only the forms that hold it for a short while can fade and pass, returning their elements to the earth to fuel the cycle of becoming.
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