It is though, the beginning of the end of winter: today is the smallest day of the year –tomorrow the light lingers a few minutes longer as we turn and face the sun once more. Down in Wiltshire, where my ancestors also made a calendar, the usual suspects celebrated the sun rising in the magnificent framework of Stonehenge. Like the Mesoamericans, ancient Britons knew the value of time. We created something a little less complicated, and while it might not look as pretty as some of the ancient Mayan calendars; because the sun still sets and rises in the sky, the grand old bluestones and sarsens continue to mark the seasons.
Experts know what Stonehenge is constructed from, but can only make an educated guess why our ancestors needed these particular stones, in this particular pattern. If you research "Stonehenge" on the internet, you'll discover a thousand theories – but the truth is we may never solve this ancient mystery. I know this much though – my dad's always been fascinated by Stonehenge, and driving along the A303 on our way down to Cornwall, the car would stop, and we'd be herded out to stretch our legs. After a wild game of hide and seek, we'd perch on the Altar Stone, and listen wide eyed to dad's wonderful stories about Merlin, and absorb the romance of the stones.
Growing up, I learned some of the facts behind the myths and Stonehenge became more awe inspiring than ever. Prehistoric, maybe post-historic, Stonehenge might be around to witness the end of the world. If so, will the first rays of that very last sunrise reveal the true purpose of this enigmatic time machine? Mystic portal or solar calendar, if you ever get the chance, visit this wonder – make up your own mind, and weave your own stories – but one thing's for certain – the haunting beauty of the place will stay with you, and a little part of you will remain with Stonehenge.
Forever and ever, until worlds end!