I had seen the pictures a thousand times — those Stonehenges. Never had I seen them Nor would have I, had it not for my friend’s insistence.
They say the stones came as far as the northern Scotland. We were in the South of England. To travel all the way — why, how?
When we finally stepped closer to the stones, it was like being transported to that era. We were like the pilgrims that came then. The difference is they knew what we have forgotten.
They came to praise. Not the stones. The stones were but an expression of the praise. What they praised was larger.
School children were running around the ground. Families were having picnics. Their chatter fresh. Their laughter spontaneous. Their being natural. Making the space even more beautiful and embracing.
Two people were detained by the security guards. “Those are what is called the stone huggers,” my friend said. I nodded.
I walked around the stones. Slowly. Sensing the presence that feels so vast around me. Intently. Mimicking the movement within.
The largeness of the space was both overwhelming and calming — three dimentional, or perhaps even more. The word praise kept coming up. This is how the praise was expressed then. They knew what we have forgotten.
We journeyed on to Avebury. The stones were smaller in size but larger in number and area they covered. Situated in a modern day village and farm fields. Where the profane and the sacred became one.
I put my hands on the stone, and stayed. I The ancientness and the wisdom that came with it was so palpable. Oh the grandeur.
The stones went deep into the earth. It felt like they did not end when their physical manifestation ended. It was not a stone half buried in the earth. Rather, the stone is an extension of the earth. They are one. As I touched the stone, I too became one with it.
The sense of strength, certainty, firmness, calming security, wisdom, patience, compassion, expansiveness it provides, I cannot even begin to explain.
I finally moved my hand way from the stone. I do not know how long I had stood there. I looked at my friend and said, “Now I get the stone huggers. I understand them.”