Monday, 13 July 2009

Liminal places - dimensions in time

Stonehenge today - visitors come by coach and car. A busy road, fences, carpark, and visitors centre keep this most mysterious of monuments fixed in the material world. Stepping away from the modern day trappings, it is easy to imagine that time stays the same moving in a seasonal cycle - we on the other hand move through time like dream walkers.

Walking towards Stonehenge along the route of the Avenue - the magical moment when it first comes into view, without visitors, cars or carpark.

The river Avon at the start of the Stonehenge Avenue

Today a friend from the Avebury Forum, took me into the Stonehenge landscape; it was a wonderful elemental sort of day, the sort I experienced on the Orkneys, only right here in Wiltshire. We went to Durrington Walls and walked across what had once been a Neolithic settlement, the hairs started to tingle on my arms, a strange sensation.
Then round into Woodhenge to stand and stare for a bit ... before a shower blew over.

I was thinking it couldn’t get any better when my friend showed me a hidden spring by the river Avon right at the start of the Avenue to Stonehenge. I am trying to find the right word for such a place apart from the usual mystical, sacred; it was both of those things. Walking across the Avenue, which is still intact as a raised grassy ‘road’ the word liminal came to mind. Limen is from the Latin meaning ‘threshold’ - it was that sort of place.

The same experience occurred walking back towards Stonehenge in the long wild grass of what was once the Avenue. Wonderful … it was a day I will not forget.
There is a quite long article on a similar theme at the link below - "Why Christopher Robin wouldn't walk on the cracks"
Many thanks to Pete Glastonbury, the friend who took me on a magical mystery tour through time ... a memorable few hours indeed.