Ancient large stones sat in a circle telling each other stories only they understood. Their unnatural shapes kept their true age vague, but you could clearly see in their gray faces how they have so far managed to work eras into an aeon.
The stones tell stories but never make a sound. And even if they did, the chatter of tourists and the gusts of wind would be sure to drown them out. Laughter from people whose thoughts were far from these old grounds. The audio guides that were handed out attempted to convey the history behind the mysteries of the place, though it was difficult to concentrate on what they had to say.
The air was cold and the sudden winds were icy. The audio guide in my hand was too large to fit in my pocket so I had to hold it, exposing my fingers to the ambient chill. The layer of clothes on my skin were absent heat and my jacket kept the wind out well enough, but not so much with keeping my warmth in. I imagined what it would have been like to be one of the stones here. Do they wish to bake under the summer sun on cold days like this? On the outskirts of the area, flocks of sheep in their thick warm wool walked from area to area eating in the endless sea of the moist grasses. They give less thought than me to the discomfort that what they wear fails to deter.
The smell of grassy fields on grassy graves was everywhere. Occasionally, you can catch the subtle scent of dirt and sheep manure. Even more often the aroma of coffee from the nearby Stonehenge Cafe drifts by. The allure of it calls me to purchase a cup after working my way through the giftshop.
If warmth had a taste, the hot coffee and lentil with rice soup definitely delivered it. As I took sip after sip it made me wonder what kinds of other tastes I might be missing out on here in this place that I may never visit again? The pastries at the cafe, the clean stony faces of the gray giants, or even the local sheep’s grass. Perhaps curiosity and wonder ending with practicality is a necessity. Or maybe experience for experience’s sake is the right way to live this life.
I must have been a child when I first learned that the stonehenge existed. And like most things in this world, it was my mind that made it out to be more than what I actually experienced the day I finally visited the location. Not to say that they weren’t as awesome as I thought they would be. It is sobering, however, to be disillusioned from misconception and to rebuild stories closer to the foundations of reality. Foundations that hopefully last longer than the stones of the stonehenge have stood.
Folklore tells a tale of the devil buying the stones from an Irish woman and placing them where they are today. It amused him that people would never figure out how they got there.
It delights me to know that there is so much mankind can unbury in the quest to learn what we do not know. The urge to explore and discover things which might even be irrelevant bring about byproducts of relevance. The stonehenge no longer feels like a faraway place to me anymore. It’s just a plane ride and a bus ride away. The world has simultaneously become bigger and yet smaller in my mind’s eye.