The Balnuaran of Clava are some of the best preserved burial cairns dating back to the Bronze Age, three or four thousand years ago. The Clava cairns are located along the inner Moray Firth in the Scottish Highlands.
Walking into the site, you first notice the towering trees which were planted here during Victorian times.
Then you approach the first stone circle, a massive mound of rock, which defies comprehension. And so you circumambulate it trying to make sense out of this elaborate pile of boulders and rocks.
You find a passage way leading in, like a birth canal taking you inside the stone womb:
And you look around you, wondering, touching the stones, imagining what might have happened here so long ago
And suddenly, the stones light up:
A narrow passage opens
into a perfect circle of stones;
boulders cradling smaller rocks,
arranged by skillful hands
for strength and form.
Stones, warmed only lightly
by lichen, moss and sun
and inquiring hands.
Stones, shaded by those tall trees
green, alive, and
Stony witness –
what did you see?
Who came here, praying, chanting?
Who was buried here
Who mourned for them and how?
Was there joyous celebration, too?
A girl becoming a woman
blessing the soil with her first blood?
A boy becoming a man
drawing blood with the sharp edge of a sword?
Who gathered here the very moment
when the old year exhaled one last time
as a new year inhaled its first cold breath?
What can we learn from you?
If we spoke your language,
could we still be saved from