Stonehenge is a special place, it doesn’t matter to me that at this point in time the reason it was built has been lost, or the method of it’s construction, or all the other unanswered questions that have been asked about it over the thousands of years since it’s construction.
The truth is that this is something spiritual here and it can only be felt by visiting the place in person, It’s a feeling you get when faced with something awe inspiring, something where your brain makes the connection with the fact that these massive stones were moved not just by brute force, but because there was deep deep meaning that focused the people concerned in the effort required to make it happen.
This meaning has been lost as far as the finer detail goes, but when you visit and and stare at the handiwork of prehistoric human beings, you can sense that this was so much more than a building project. I get the same feeling when I stand in a medieval cathedral and stare up at a vaulted ceiling high above my head and also know that the centuries it took to construct, the lives and lifetimes it took to make it happen, reveal a deep sense of purpose and belief that is little evident in anything that we see today. … and certainly don’t see in building projects any more.
We have gone from being eternal people to being instant-human beings, and I think we are poorer for it. Stonehenge gives me a glimpse into the eternal persons mind set, where the end result gets all the glory, there are no references here to the architects , the human beings involved are merely the means by which the end result got achieved.
Last summer, the day we visited was an eerie mixture of bright sunshine and looming dark clouds which gave Stonehenge a moody feel, so I put the camera onto full zoom to try and capture some of the detail of these amazing stones.
I’ve been walking very slowly with my sticks, the path around the stones is quite large and is set back from the stones so that visitors can not actually touch the stones or get too close to them, (the summer and winter solstices are the only time when people can touch the stones).
We were here when the doors opened so it was quiet when we arrived, but during the time it has taken me to navigate the outside path, the bus loads have arrived and as we join the path that leads back to the entrance tunnel, we find ourselves walking out against a tide of people walking in.
I want to get a few postcards, the shop is crammed full of people, Himself has rashly promised the kids and ice-cream but the queue around the ice-cream seller is about fifteen deep and by the time I reach the car park area my foot is getting beyond painful and I’m desperate to sit down.
I now have to make my way past the upper car park full of coaches and mini tour buses and I’m relieved when Himself runs past me as I reach the entrance of the paddock calling out “Wait there, I’ll bring the camper back to you“.
The kids follow dejectedly, grumbling because Himself abandoned the ice-cream queue with the promise that there will be somewhere down the road that’s less of a madhouse. As Himself eases the camper out of the main gates, the queue of vehicles coming in is a non stop stream. Further up the side road we come across a building that is to be the Stonehenge’s new visitors centre, apparently it would officially open shortly after our visit which surprised us because it looked a long way from finished.
I get some photographs of the building still under construction and we find ourselves back on the road… We leave Stonehenge behind, but it’s a place that lets you take a little bit of it’s spirit with you when you go.
Patterns in the car park…