There was barely a pause for breath between the journey back from the north and a new journey south. Time seems to have run away this month, I find myself writing about events three weeks late and with so much more yet to tell! We were going south to spend the weekend with friends.We would stay with Alienora, catch up with Morgana and get to spend time with dear friends from the US. As all this was going to take place in Glastonbury, and at Beltane too, there was a lot to look forward to.
Even the drive south from here is exciting; we pass so many places that have played a part in our journey to today. The White Horse of Uffington, on the horizon, marks the entry to a magical landscape, where mysteries abound and unfold. The road takes you past hillforts and barrows…and onwards to Marlborough. We stopped for coffee in the church before passing yet another white horse carved into the hillside beyond Merlin’s Mound.
And the next stop is always Avebury. It is impossible to simply drive past. Whether it is a simple pause to pay our respects to Silbury Hill, a walk up to West Kennet or a visit to the stones of the circle and Avenue, we have to stop.
This time it was the circle. It does not matter how many times you visit, the ancient stones that have danced here for millennia always reveal something new…and although they always seem to sing the same song, they are constantly changing tune with the light and the seasons.
It is always astonishing too, to walk amongst the stones and marvel at the sheer scale of the construction. The stones themselves are so big it is impossible to not to wonder how, and yet, there is never more than a fraction of the site visible and the complex of linked sites of which they form a part is mind-boggling in its scale.
On every hill, it seems, there are barrows, naked or hidden in groves of trees, many of them yet to be excavated. Finds have placed humans in this landscape for at least nine thousand years and the traces of our ancestral past still remain, intriguing and raising more questions than we will ever answer.
Stonehenge lies just seventeen miles south of Avebury and, in between, further sites link what could be a truly vast complex of social and spiritual sites. There seem to be few limits to the vision of our ancestors… yet the prevailing image is still that of crude and unsophisticated builders in stone. Walk amongst the remnants of their creation and you cannot help but feel we are the ones missing the point through a blinkered vision.