The sun’s orange arms hold the Ring of Brodgar’s weathered megaliths in a nostalgic embrace. Tall shadows stretch toward a central swath of heather the color of a fresh bruise. The nightly convocation of the stones’ inscrutable souls. I feel like a raccoon that, clutching a shiny bauble, cannot remove its paw from the spiked pit trap. A fierce wind makes roiling mountains of Orkney’s clouds beyond the circle as I amble its inner circumference. I have shut out everything but the gentle, gritty sensation of antediluvian craftsmanship running beneath my fingerprints. Romantic notions suffuse me. Maybe I will sense some connection to the past, something…different.
I sit on the bumpy, wet turf and lean back against one of the monoliths. Is there another sense, creaking and atrophied and forgotten, beneath the constant chatter of the known five? Perhaps the heady cocktail of wonder and effervescent awe that derives from being in the presence of greater things is the speech of that lost sense. I open my eyes and the ring is cast in high contrast and desaturated tones. It looks like the exposed crown of a much greater structure. The meaning is here, but it escapes me like a glance lost in the foggy night, like a shining key just beyond my arm’s reach.
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