Skein of Time
We head into a green gloom of Heber’s very own making, for the late evening light is still bright in the sky… and almost immediately we start to climb.
Water falls, gurgling on both sides of us as the path twists first one way and then the next and just keeps on climbing up through the steep ravine and ever up heading for the light expanse of the moor but holding the gloom intact like a tight-rope walker his balancing pole.
“It is quite possible,” says Wen “that the whole of the moor once looked like this.”
“It feels old somehow… much older than it has any right to be.”
“Time holds no sway here,” smiles Wen and then, “Oh, look there’s a pointy stone.”
Wen gestures away, over my shoulder, to where there is indeed a rather large and somewhat incongruous looking pointed stone. And if that were all that was to be seen, notwithstanding Wen’s latest ubiquitous theory, I would probably not have paid too much heed, however, there also appears to be an enormous slab of stone at the foot of the upright and that to my mind makes the stone ensemble that much less likely to be a fortuitous arrangement and concomitantly much more likely to be something arranged by design…
It is some way off the track and well guarded by both root and branch but if one cannot scramble through the undergrowth for a pointed stone and base slab then there is probably not much reason for one being in the vicinity at all…
There is an inevitable moot point approaching here of course.
It really is very difficult, if not well nigh impossible, to say for sure one way or another whether a particular arrangement of stones has been deliberately positioned or has instead come to rest as we now see them by natural means…
“By natural means, are you perchance alluding to the ‘Frost Giants’?” laughs Wen.
“I am,” say I “but allow me to explain…”
It has been surmised that the huge sheets of ice held by geological science to have shifted a lot of these huge boulders about the landscape were regarded as ‘Frost Giants’ by our early ancestors and passed into the mythological record as such. And whilst this is indeed a valid speculation and in all probability quite correct, you may have to be a little wary of Wen here as she can be a tad biased where stones, pointy or otherwise are concerned.
The very best thing, of course is to make up your own mind…
…Whatever the conclusions you come to, and those that we have come to for that matter, it is indisputable that our ancestors adopted an alchemical attitude to their surroundings and what was given by nature they added to and perfected by art.
“The Royal Way,” says Wen, “I thought you’d never get there.”
In the case of the pointy stone and base slab at Heber’s Ghyll, Wen and I both felt precisely the same thing when stepping onto the rock, which suggests to us that it was used and that it was used over a long period of time and, what is more, that it was used over and again for the self-same purpose. To our mind it simply has to have been thus in order for such an imprint to be still so readily discernible.
Stepping through the skein of time Wen calls it.