Wednesday, August 1, 2012


(I wrote this months ago, but never posted it. I wanted to include lots of pictures etc, but editing the 900+ photos we took seemed overwhelming so I kept putting it off.)

Back from Scotland once again, and oh my loverlies. This one was nothing like the first trip, actually. It had a whole new feel to it. Last time we were swimming through life in a haze of honeymoon bliss. There were castles and kilts and lochs and churches. It was romantic and kitschy and absolutely perfect. This was....better.

This time there were tombs. Ancient, cold, moss covered cairns which we climbed into and around and through. Hauling our stretching forms up the windblown hills through the sheep and mud and heather to the old un-hills that once housed rituals and bones, we pulled back the solid trapdoors and descended down rickety ladders into sacred darkness. Here the decaying walls and half formed domes spoke not of yesterdays gone by but of the very beginning of time. We stood next to stones three times the height of modern giants and raised our arms to a sky as unforgivingly gray as it was when our ancestors raised the stones in circles and left behind a secret we are only beginning to unravel. We handled tools made by a race who perished among the winds and cliffs of this land long before any nation claimed it, who lay buried here with eagle talons and the skulls of dogs. These first islanders who were not English or Scottish or Viking or Celt or Pict but something older even than the legends of fairies and elves.

We passed through doors weighing ten tonnes but swinging on hinges so perfectly made they can still be opened by a ten year old girl five thousand years later, down tunnels positioned to catch the rays of a solstice sun and spray them over a clay covered chamber of bones. We stood outside the foundations of homes where children fought and spouses embraced some seven thousand years before we took our first breaths, where bowls still stood on stone shelves and cold hearths. We crouched down and pulled ourselves through passageways leading to spaces from before the world was born where mothers wore necklaces of bones and shells and rocked their children to the sound of waves and gulls.

As you can tell, it kind of got to me.

More pictures here

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