Our contest has ended, with a tie! I've heard it's a no-no to publish names of winners, so I'll just call our winners 'M' and 'S', and notify them privately. In the meantime, I wanted to share one of their wonderful stories with you. Tomorrow I'll post the second one.
The first begins with a long journey 'M' began in Northern Wales. She was visiting a castle made entirely of black slate, and found it most awesome to walk through the mideival halls 'made of darkest night'. She thought it would be dark and shadowy on the inside, but it was bright! The light reflected off the worn stone - so polished by footstep and hands over the years. She felt she was in a prism of light, protected, safe, and grounded. Near the castle by the sea, she found a piece of the black slate. Having just come from Stonehenge a few days earlier, she somehow thought of this as she impulsively made the decision to put the stone into her luggage. And then she headed off for the Aran Isles.
At the airport, there was a moment of panic, as there were weight limits on the luggage, and she knew the stone would put her over the limit. But strangely, her luggage weighed in at no more than when she had begun her journey, so she was free to go.
The gentleman who sat next to her on the flight asked her what her purpose was in going to the Isle. She replied that she was just sightseeing, but she'd been drawn to go there. He proceeded to tell her the tales of the Islands -- about a war of giants and magicians, the falling of Atlantis, and how Aran was part of the turmoil. He told her of the Druid wars and how half the island sank when the Magician Merlin stole half of their henge to take their power -- and had built the now-famous Stonehenge with the stones stolen from the sacred fortress of Fairy faith. He gave her directions on where to find the hidden fortress on the island.
M was so intrigued by the stories, the next day she decided to find the fortress and the magical circle. By another strange compulsion, she put the piece of black slate in her backpack, and on she went. The gentleman's directions were perfect: walk down the lane, turn left at the field with the white horse, go over three stone walls, turn right at the tree that has been struck by lightning, and so on. Her journey took many hours, but finally she arrived and explored the site. She navigated a labyrinth and found her way through the fort; walking to the edge, she could clearly see where the other half of the stone circle was missing, and part of the island had collapsed into the sea. She found a well-worn path by the cliff and followed it around, and to her amazement, there were hundreds of miniature stonehenges, likely built by other visitors to the sacred site. She was even more amazed when she came upon a partially built henge circle made entirely of black slate -- yet missing just one stone to make it complete.
Yes, it is true; sure enough, the stone in her backpack just happened to be the perfect size, and completed the henge of the dark stone with a shimmering light.
I love the quote 'M' ends with: "I can't say scientifically that stones have a consciousness, but on that day, in that time, that stone had a purpose that called to me to bear its burden across the ocean, and lay it where it will rest forever in time."
Kudos and many thanks to our contest participants! Stay tuned for S's Stone Story tomorrow!