Sunday, 21 December 2014

Continuity - winter solstice at Cothiemuir Wood

At the winter solstice we visited the recumbent stone circle at Cothiemuir Wood, a short distance from home.  Set on a low hill and now surrounded by woodland the circle would have been a prominent monument when constructed - construction has been dated to about 2700-2500 BC. 

 The mild weather this midwinter solstice is quite different from  some previous visits,  this year the shortest day has been overcast and damp, the daylight struggling to impose itself, and by mid afternoon it was already dusk. In the low light, the circle  with its 20 tonne recumbent and its flanking stones aligned precisely to the midwinter moon seemed especially striking and atmospheric.  It exudes permanence and continuity and has marked so many solstices.  We noticed a splash of colour in the angle of the west flanker and the recumbent......

...which on closer inspection was a small spray of greenery and holly, carefully tied and placed.  A simple gesture marking the turn of the year and showing a small but continued use for the stones.

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