(This post got originally posted to my Tumblr 6/25, since I had trouble getting Blogger working in Ireland. I'm reposting it here so everything is together, and so I can add in some photos from the site I'm describing)
|Newgrange Passage Tomb - Ireland|
At this point in my trip, I’ve visited mostly archeological and natural sites. We began in Newgrange and Knowth - Neolithic sites.
Newgrange is the better known of the two sites. It has a large cruciform passage tomb that is open for guided tours.
As I slipped through the opening, I felt the weight of human history settle down on me. The idle chatter of those around me died to a hush. Or maybe I just stopped noticing. The passageway was narrow, requiring others on the tour to duck or slither sideways to progress. I only had to slightly tip my head. The passage was just awaiting my return.
We stood in the damp darkness, while the guide shared what little we know about the people whose hands shaped these stones. They were just like us; with hopes and dreams and a desire to see the sun. Did they place the ashes of their dead in these chambers for honor? Or were they hoping the first rays of sunlight on midwinter would speed them on the way to the life beyond?
For just a few moments, all electric lights were doused. Simulated sunrise trickled through the opening above the doorway. A beam of light - a pale imitation of the real solstice sunrise- crept across the floor. Could we imagine their awe? Their wonder?
I stepped back into the real sunlight, the wind whipping my hair. Who were these people? What were their dreams? Did they laugh, and love, and weep like we do?
|Knowth - Passage Tombs, Ireland|
The results of their monumental endeavor has stood the test of time - but their individual memories are beyond recall. How I wished to step back into the portal and travel through time, if only briefly, to meet them face to face.
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