Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mysteries: Historical and Spiritual

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” - Lillian Smith

As we came over the hill, we saw the familiar outline of Stonehenge rise up in a grassy field. Our guide, Hugh, told us that the theories about Stonehenge have changed greatly in the past few years. The archeologists have been allowed to do excavations recently, and have found skeletal remains buried which were previously unknown. We looked at those monoliths whose vertical stones weigh around 25 tons and wonder how ancient men were able to haul those rocks to that place and set them upright … and then raise the lintel stones, which were almost as heavy. Around the site are set “bluestones” that have come from Wales. What was the purpose of Stonehenge and how was it constructed? It is a mystery that has puzzled mankind for centuries

After leaving Stonehenge, we made our way to the town of Salisbury where we toured the famous Salisbury Cathedral. This building is considered to be the best example of a medieval cathedral in the United Kingdom, and its spire, at 404 feet, is the tallest in Northern Europe. Unlike Westminster, visitors are allowed to take photos throughout the cathedral except in one room. In that room lies an original copy of the Magna Carta – the document which is the basis of constitutional rule and gave Englishmen certain rites and established certain legal procedures. The script was so tiny and so perfect, you would almost think it was computer generated. Walking around the cathedral gave you a sense of quiet peace … that there are things not of this world that we cannot know, but just accept as part of the mystery of life and of the soul. Just listen to the peal of the bells, and realize that men throughout the centuries have been hearing the same chime.

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