Friday, May 25, 2007

The Lady of Avebury

Monday May 21, 2007

Gentle rain fell as we walked through the stones, the high grass soft and damp against our legs. In the distance sheep baaed and the traffic on the Swindon road shwooshed steadily along.

A stone stood squatly before us. A woman’s profile defined, yet beautiful, carved by weather into it’s surface showed us a strong face, half smiling, surrounded by tumbling hair. I ran my hands lovingly over the contours, learning all I could about her with the tips of my fingers. This was the stone that we would work with.

We settled down on the sheltered side of the stone and cast the circle. Rain tenderly stroked my face as behind my closed eyelids I saw the stones, upright and light against the green grass. It was early morning, with a high pale blue sky and the summer sun beginning to shaft across the field.

I began to dance, gracefully and processionally – even though I was alone, between the stones. I snaked in and out of them, circling each one and moving on; until I found the stone I wanted and stopped in front of it.

She was regal. I knelt before her in homage. Tired after my dance, I curled up like a small child and rested, dozing lightly at her base.
A huge golden hair hurtled across the field and stopped in front of me. “I am the goddess” it appeared to say. It then leaped off.

The robin’s song cascaded across the quiet morning and he was before me, perky and hopping. “”I too am the goddess” he chirruped, bouncing up and down amongst the long grass. I laughed to see his little dance and blew him a kiss as he hopped off.

All was quiet. The rain pitter-pattered on the grass. The sheep baaed and the birds sang. Out of the corner of my ear, I caught the rustling of grass being crushed and smelled the sweet sharp odour of crushed stalks. Coming towards me was a huge snake, as green as the grass and a little grey like the stones. It moved in a never ending spiral, undulating gracefully through the high grass, until as suddenly as it had come, it had gone again, but not before it had let me know that it also was the goddess.

I laughed like a child and got up. Bowing again to the goddess in her stone form, I began to caper through the field, skipping in and out of the stones as though stripping the willow.

Sitting with my back to the stone, I heard movement through the grass in front of me and voices. Three strangers had come to see what we were doing. We talked of the magic of stones and the beauty of the place, of festivals at Henges and what drew us here. In time, they moved on and we were alone with the stones once more.

I was comfortable on the soft ground. I felt at peace. A small wind showered me with raindrop kisses and I clambered to my feet. It was time to go.

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