A quiet and happy christmas for me has just passed and now the New Year approaches, which in turn will lead to a new life.
Boxing Day and a return to Avebury to wander round amongst the stones, very cold weather is forecast for the next few days. Journeys are all about packing and making sandwiches, locking the house and setting out. Anticipation of arrival and new things to do, there will be my son to meet and also friends who will make this pilgrimage to Avebury. For it is indeed a pilgrimage, pagan celebrations have gone on amongst the stones, cloaks and appropiate gear has been donned, poems and songs have been chanted and spoken. Though I have'nt heard them I can imagine the air of festivity, and welcome the sense of ritual that is still apparent in our modern age.
The stones have been part of the backdrop to my life for 30 years, ever since driving West to find somewhere to live in Wales, and then falling in love with the landscape of the downs, so that my journey was somewhate curtailed in Calne for a few years. We should really be allowed several lives to be able to enjoy this country of ours.
There are always memories that flow through ones life, walking on the Cherhill downs with my labrador, up to the grim Lansdowne monument and then carrying on and walking round the rampants of Oldbury Hillfort and marvelling at the energy needed to construct such banks.
West Kennet Longbarrow its long low silhouette on the horizon, and great grey enigmatic stones were far less visited when I first came to Calne. The stones of Avebury rather frightened me for some unexplicable reason, perhaps I saw them on too many misty grey days, the haunt of ghosts past.
But Christmas has been very good this year, old friends keeping in touch, the glitter of baubles and the ivy softly curling in vases with its great seed heads a reminder of how useful a food it is for the pigeons, yellowed flowerheads still clinging a reminder of its late nectar in the autumn for the last flying butterflies and of course the wasps.
And cards that bring a smile ........