Have you ever stumbled across a place where you knew something was going on but you had no idea what? It’s happened to me on a couple of occasions and I have to tell you that, dependent on the situation, it is bothersome to say the very least.
Once, in Barbados, we stumbled across a couple of ‘tour guides’ forcibly ‘touring’ a couple of tourists. It ended okay, but only just. Another time at a house party in my twenties I was on a stairway when an oppressive doom surrounded me. I left and I’m glad that I did considering what happened after I’d left. At a healing well in Wales I was persuaded by a voice in my head to bathe my right knee in the water, it had been bothering me for weeks but stopped aching within twenty-four hours and it lasted for a year or so.
Some things are about the people, others about the place, and when people and place get together over many, many years it can make for a powerful atmosphere.
Back to the Merry Maidens and the trail I found leading to the darkest edges of the field. Of course I followed it and came across a stone structure buried into the wall and surrounded by bushes right at the very back of the field. A faint trail, made by the feet of other seekers, led me to the stones which were obviously arranged by the hand of man and not nature. In the rowan and may bushes to one side the branches were tied white ribbons of bandage the purpose of which I can only guess. It was a deeply powerful place – I could just feel it.
I was a bit confused as suddenly the sunny day seemed to go a bit gloomy and I realised that I was in one of those places that you only come to because you must and not because you want to. A place on the edge of the wild, a place waiting to grab you and draw you in. Not evil exactly, but I felt no good there either. If asked I would have to say that I felt a need around me, not my need but the stone’s. A sacrificial place.
Nervously I snapped a couple of pictures and retraced my steps intending to use the photos to research the structure later on the internet. I couldn’t find a thing about it and when I examined the pictures I found a column of light in one of them on the right which I hadn’t seen when I was standing there. It might have been a flare from the sun, but it was overcast when I took that picture.
I still don’t know what those carefully arranged stones are or why they have no mention. As for the column of light, well I could conjecture but I would only be letting my imagination run free and darkly wild. All I can say is that I was pleased to get back to the merry maidens and the joy that surrounds them, that dark corner gave me the creeps.
For every light there must be a dark. For each joy a sorrow. It’s about balance and I think I may have found the sorrow place to balance the Merry Maidens. As a friend of mine reminded me: ‘There are many fallacies but also many truths bound up in allegorical tales.’