Dusk, and the Cathedral stands majestic and silent as its illumination begins. There it stands as a testament to Christendom. It almost looks unreal. This is what I look to as summer folds into autumn and the SconeLady makes tracks to Salisbury.
The Cathedral sits in the midst of the vast Salisbury Plain, a 300 square mile chalk plateau containing strange stone groupings that attract millions of visitors worldwide. One summer as the lovely daughter accompanied me across that plain, we crested a small hill and came upon a strange sight. There were standing in a field what looked like huge stones, gathered into some kind of circle. "What is that?" I asked, staring.
"What is what?" said one of the girls, who hadn't noticed it yet.
"That ... group of odd looking stones.." I murmured, as a memory of high school geography suddenly flashed at me. "Umm, is it..," and I gasped, "Good grief, can it actually be - STONEHENGE??"
And the girls burst out, "Stonehenge! It's Stonehenge!"
We hadn't planned on seeing it, had not even dreamed it would be near our location. But there it was in all its massive glory. We quickly zipped toward the exit, approached the lot, and parked. "What shall we do?" I asked the girls. We did, after all have a plan for taking ourselves down to Cornwall and time was ticking away.
"Let's have our picnic lunch here!" they said enthusiastically.
So we opened up the boot and grabbed out fresh bread, strawberries, cherries, cheese, apples, and meat, spreading it out in the shade of the car. We ate, staring all the while at that strange and surprising grouping of stones. Soon we finished and walked somewhat timidly over towards it. It was incredible.
I will be excited to see it again, to visit the Plain, and wander through the Cathedral. They are antiquities. After all, the Cathedral was begun in the year 1220 AD. And Stonehenge began to appear in 3100 BC! I don't think California could scare up a pile of ancient rocks all standing impossibly at attention in a magnificent circle without so much as one neon light trained upon it. If Stonehenge were in California, it would be flooded with lights, and signs, and trails, and lunch boxes, helicopter pads, and McDonalds kid meal toys, and gift shops touting the marvel of it all. Poor Stonehenge would never be the same.
We just can't seem to let things be.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78135748@N00/3022612775">DSC03025</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>