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Published: August 25th 2019
What a lovely English summer and I put together a picnic for a day trip from Swindon to Avebury with a friend. Thankfully, I reached the bus stop early. Being Sunday, the bus was set to leave a little early. I immediately bought a ticket and called my friend who was also nearby. We made it in easy 30 mins bus ride!
Yes, it was built during the times of the famous Egyptian pyramids.
Avebury is famous for ancient circles of large stones which were built during the Neolithic age (New Stone age) around 2500 BC.
These are nothing spectacular like the pyramids. There is an artificial mound called Silbury hill, Kenneth Barrow (a burial site of about 35 bodies) and a few other sites in the vicinity. Still, something to make us wonder.
We walked about on the greenish yellow meadows, looking at large stones standing alone or placed in circles. Some stones were missing and replaced by stumps. There were plenty of sheep grazing and we had to be careful with their mess.
Some people were touching the big stones with closed eyes closed,
murmuring something. Later, somebody said that she felt there were spirits around in the Silbury hill.
Indeed, I would imagine spirits like Puck flying about in these pretty grasslands and making mischief on humans, during these mid summer nights 😊
There was a long queue for coffee in the circle cafe. Meanwhile, we decided what we
wanted to see. I opted for the museum while he went to see the renovated barn where the excavator of this archaeological site used to live.
I learnt there were such stone circles all over the world even in Mexico. The archaeologists guessed that these were built as a place of gathering to worship spirits or nature. Actually, they were positioned as concentric circles of stones in the middle, surrounded by a ditch. A few old skeletons were found in the ditch but not many.
There were avenues with stones on either side leading out of the centre. It reminded me of the ruins of Roman city in Jerash which had broad avenues and shops on both sides. Same as in Hampi in front of the Vitthala temple with a broad corridor lined with shops. From my experience, trade and commerce is always associated with any mass human
activity and this place must have prosperous once upon a time.
The weather was pleasant, breezy and golden sunlight streamed through fields of corn, oilseed etc. We had our picnic on the benches. For the first time, I witnessed English Morris dance from Sompting village,
an old English troupe
group set up in 1978.
The dancers wore black red dresses with many streams of ribbons. Bells were attached to the knees of men and black (school type) shoes of the ladies. They used sticks which they knocked against each other playfully in tune with an equally lively music of violin, accordion and flute.
The men performed a shepherd marriage dance again with sticks. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
Rejuvenated, we followed google which directed us to walk on the main road but there was no footpath. I decided to defy google and use the fields. That is how we discovered the layout of a vast ditch which surrounded the Avebury circle. Amazing!
We walked up and down the fields for over 40 mins from the museum to reach Silbury hill, following sign boards.
There were lots of family and friends with dogs taking a leisurely stroll in the summer afternoon and the mood around was very pleasant indeed. With the vast stretches of land and no restrictions, our canine cousins were having a field day.
The wind was strong at some places. Near Silbury hill which looked like a simple stupa, I took out a newspaper to sit on the ground and it flew off. I had to give it a pretty good chase 😊
We walked back well in time. I walked into one of the old churches, next to the village and drank a cuppa tea and lemon cake. We went to the Red lion pub and saw the old well which was now one of the pub tables with a glass top. Pottered about in the village shops which were full of semi precious stones, curios, dream catchers, local stones, books
on Celtic/druid astrology and other magical, surreal sciences.
I started reading a book on retrograde planets- trying to predict my future. Alas, it only spoke of the past. For example, a retrograde venus meant that person's heart had been broken in his previous life. So sad but what to do about it now?
Having touched something built by humans, 3000 years ago, I realized that time is indeed, meaningless. I have come and shall go just like so many before me and so many after. It is prudent to make best of the moments and make the present life beautiful. Ultimately, we shall all return to the universal consciousness.
So enjoy the sweet and sour strawberries and dance away to another trip in the English midsommer season.
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