Friday, June 20, 2014
Today is Midsummer's Eve, when fairy folk come out to play and magic dwells in hidden places. Or...if you're not a believer in the Old Ways, tomorrow marks the Summer Solstice, a scientific event based on the earth's rotations around the sun. Boring, no?
I know which way I lean...
Alan and I went to Stonehenge one Midsummer's Eve, by accident really. We were on a two-week holiday, driving from our place in Edinburgh to Land's End in Cornwall. As we headed north on the return leg of our journey, we stopped in Bath overnight, then by sheer luck and zero planning, we ended up at Stonehenge in the early afternoon of Midsummer's Eve. It was wild and crazy, with crowds of people and long lines of traffic on the Salisbury Plain. There were robed Druids and Wiccans with flowered wreaths in their hair, tourists and news people with cameras.
We left the confusion, booked a room in a 200-year old coaching inn in Salisbury and explored the town and cathedral, had an excellent dinner, then drove back to Stonehenge later that night. We parked a mile or so away, climbed a fence into a farmer's field then sat on a blanket in the tall grass by ourselves--except for the sheep--the giant trilithons looming on the horizon.
We talked and laughed, cuddled and kissed. It was a wondrous night under the stars.
Midsummer holds special memories for me now--the way the earth smells at night, the texture of a soft blanket, sounds in the distance of music and chanting, the low bleat of lambs across a field, the warmth of love.