Squirrels and stones

With the car bursting at the seams, I completed the drive north for the workshop. Picking up Stuart on the outskirts of Sheffield, our first port of call would be cross-country to collect a crystal that would be a symbolic presence and reminder of a woman we had loved. She had always worked with crystals and they meant a great deal to her. It was, perhaps, not surprising that the stones were to play a significant part in the workshop.

The next day was given largely to the final packing and preparation for the weekend. There would be scant space for two in my little car by the time we had done…and we would be three after the workshop, as Nick was on his way north too. One of my sons, he said, should see what I was so passionate about โ€˜before I diedโ€™. On that vaguely disquieting note, I had packed his bags and awaited his arrival in Derbyshire.

As my projected demise was not, as far as I was aware, imminent, we decided to take a break and visit an old friend. We had not seen the Wood-stone for a while and the first of the bluebells were just coming into bloom. The carved stone is hidden within woods near the edge of Sheffield.

We were greeted by squirrels as soon as we entered the wood. The very first was a mere few feet away, casually perched on a branch in a pose we have come to associate with our departed friend. But there was not just one, or even a few, but more than either of us has ever seen together before, even in parks where they are used to being fed. They were everywhere, busily digging up their winter hoards, scurrying up trees and rummaging in the leaf litter. They showed no fear and went about their business as if we were of no consequence at all passing within touching distance…and yet seemingly invisible to others in the wood who walked by without seeing them.

A robin led us along the path, hopping from branch to branch, way too close for normality, towards the portal trees through which we pass to find the stone.

The Wood-stone, is tucked away at a little distance from the paths, yet a mere stoneโ€™s throw from the surrounding houses. It was discovered in 1981 by a council worker. Similar in style to some of the petroglyphs of Ilkley, it is in a league of its own because of its design. Archaeologists have dated the stone as late Neolithic or Bronze Age, meaning that it could have been carved over five thousand years ago. What it may mean remains a mystery, though, with its deep carvings and three-dimensional form, it does look to us remarkably like a topographical map of several hills and enclosures. Even though, so long ago, the people were not really supposed to be able to get an aerial view of the land…

We sat a while with the stone, surrounded by new leaves and bluebells, wondering, as always, where the hills were that seem carved in stone here. Were the lines and groves the shapes of settlements? And if so, just what did the depressions mean? That, at least, we were to gain a little possible insight about, later that weekend, when we took some of our friends up to one of the stone circles.

The walk in the woods gave us time to breathe and feel the life of the land we love and serve, even within the confines of the city. Small birds and more squirrels escorted us as we left the wood and a pair of jays played hide and seek in the branches as we returned to the car that would soon be stuffed to overflowing with costumes, props and a wheelchair. The next day, the workshop would begin…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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30 Responses to Squirrels and stones

  1. jenanita01 says:

    This is another of those places I would like to visit. As the sense of peace and tranquillity seeps from the screen in front of me, I can almost feel the joy of visiting such a place…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit and obviously humans hold no fear for the squirrels and birds. Lovely little hiatus from the packed car and travel.. hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, maybe next year. Would love to look at that stone, and the woods themselves…After having met Nick, I allowed myself a good chuckle regarding his comment. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I miss everyone already. โค

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me at the word ‘squirrels’ and I love this post. What an unusual stone!


  5. Adele Marie says:

    A beautiful post, Sue. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 5th May 2017 – Sue Vincent, Teagan Geneviene, Kevin Morris and Interesting Literature | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. Widdershins says:

    Skwrlz! ๐Ÿ˜€


  8. This is a wonderful post, Sue. The wood looks so pretty with the bluebells and squirrels. That question about people’s ability to depict aerial scenes has come up in other parts of the world, as far as I am aware. This is a mystery modern man has not as yet solved.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This goes with my firm belief that we indeed DO see the woods, despite the trees. Even without a helicopter, we can still see the shape of our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely words and Photos ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You captured some wonderful photos of the squirels and birds Sue, how lovely that you were able to get so close.
    That Wood-stone seems like it has a story to tell…!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Helen Jones says:

    What a beautiful place! I love the stone – it does look like a map, a bit like the other stone you took us to near the defiled cliff edge. And the squirrels are lovely – it must have been quite magical.


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