Many people have the opinion that the age of megaliths was when mankind truly began to conquer nature. We literally built a world made from the bones of the earth. As a child I found a book in my grandfather’s library that was all about ancient mysteries. All of articles in the book were about megalithic cities and artifacts like Stonehenge. I didn’t just wonder about how the stones were cut an moved but I dreamed about what it must have been like to live in those structures. I would imagine what the city sounded like with the music of ancient instruments echoing off of the stones. At a time when every meal was cooked over an open fire. In the days before the internet I would spend hours leafing through dusty old books and learning about stone cutting and leverage. I was convinced that I could build my own megalith o e day. But hey, I was ten years old and anything was possible and rocks were free so they fit into a ten year old’s budget.
Needless to say that as an adult I still have an affinity for stonework. I pass by the wall in tonight’s feature image every day and look at the large blocks of stone. I don’t really know the history of this retaining wall. It stands just a few feet off of the highway and in the winter when there’s no foliage I can read the lay of the land well enough to know that a structure of some kind once stood above the wall. Not far from this spot is the foundation of church that no longer stands and a forgotten graveyard that I have not had a chance to investigate.
But what has really caught my eye lately us the roses that cascade down the stone. They are mixed in with at least four other wild vines. My mind was taken back to my grandfather’s library and the pictures of ancient ruins in South America. Those pictures of vine covered temples and trees growing in the hallowed halls. The broken idols that once symbolized human mastery over nature are now the hunts of serpents and birds. Mankind’s victory over the forces of nature is temporary. The masterfully crafted stone blocks now tumble as the mountain rejects it’s constraints. Rain washes out the mortar and trees push away the stones until one day the wall topples like a child’s toy.
Perhaps if the world stands long enough a young boy will enter his grandfather’s library and whatever form the books will take will feature images of cut stone in Appalachia. Perhaps the boy will marvel at the ancestors skill in shaping the bones of the earth and read about our lives and wonder what must have been like to live in such a marvelous time when stone cutters and code writers worked side by side to tame the land.
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