Today I’ve been blown along the Neolithic Highway. A road between two lochs that seems to be full of standing stones and Neolithic villages. What was the draw for our ancestors?
All along this highway it seems they were encouraged to settle, build large monuments and then, after about a thousand years, to move on. The road winds from a settlement that is now on the edge of the sea, but was once well inland, down past two stones circles and two more settlements. I’m sure there are many more buildings still to be discovered. Was it the promise of fresh water? Or that seals come to shelter their young in the safety of an inland lake? Was it the warmer climate giving good ground to grow crops?
There are a lot of questions that I would love to have answers to. As I looked at the precise building of the settlement of Skara Brae, mirrored further down the road but in much bigger style at the Ness of Brodgar, understanding these lives seemed far out of reach. Because they left no recognisable records. May be the stone circles were all they felt would be needed? I sat for a while on a fallen stone in the Ring of Brodgar. I wanted to tune in. But today wasn’t the day. Too many people. Too much activity. Lots of layers of energy from all the people who have visited in the past. Now the highway is not so much a thin place as a well travelled road.
I love travelling to thin places. Where the highway seems to take me back to another time. Or sideways into a different dimension.
But I also feel that our thin places become less so when we enter them as unaware spectators. Not being mindful about the impact of our energy. I would like to sit in the Ring of Brognar under a full moon. Then I’m sure the energy would be more as it once was several thousand years ago. And I can journey to life as it once was on this highway. To be a ghost in their world. Looking in from the edges of their perception. I wonder what they would make of me? Or my time? And all of the traffic that now zooms up and down this Neolithic road.
As the wind tried to blow me off my feet I enjoyed the sudden fall of rain. It freshened the energy of the road. I felt that I was in two places at once. Here on the edge of the loch two lifetimes finally met in one moment. Another woman once walked this highway between her settlement and the standing stones. Whatever her purpose she felt the wind at her back and the rain in her face. One day, in her turn, there will be another woman who experiences these same feelings. In her future I hope she will wonder about all of the women who have walked the Neolithic highway. And remember that all of us are connected.
I am here because my mother was here. She was here because her mother had her. In a line unbroken back to the settlements along this road. Orkney reminds us to keep on moving down the road.
Day 601 of my blogging challenge