The bus was small but its huge windows provided ample views of the lush green fieldsand rippling hills. Despite a leaden sky, the colors seem vibrant and the world more intimate.
The Hill of Tara, ancient site of the High King of Ireland, the crumbling Slane Castle, and enough thatched roof cottages, with bright red doors, to make any sightseer giddy.
The curving River Boyne, said to have been engraved in the soil of Ireland by the goddess Boanne herself and the water where the mighty Finn caught the Salmon of Wisdom, was surging and tumbling over gray rocks and hardy fisherman waded its tumult to fill their baskets with a catch of trout and salmon.
Around the small narrow lanes we moved until there was the site older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge, the structure known as Newgrange (dated to about 3,200 B.C.E.).
Aligned to the solstice, its exact purpose is unknown, although researchers suggest it was a place of deep religious significance due to the burial and reburial activities traced there.
It was a mound covering an acre of ground (some 250 feet across, 40 feet high) and surrounded by thousands of pounds of rocks brought there from some forty miles away. Around its parameter were the remains of a one time circle of standing stones. At the entrance the impressive huge stone carved with mysterious spirals and carvings yet to be conclusively interpreted.
The long, rock hewn passage leading nearly twenty feet into the very heart of the mound branched off near its end into three alcoves. Above was the unique corbelled roof of stones.
Cautioned on the tour not to touch the walls, the shadowy interior, and the group of people in the passage meant at one point I was pushed back against the rock face of the passage. When that happened an almost static charge of electricity rippled through me and for a moment it was as if I did not stand in the 20th century but had been catapulted through time and space into the time when some of my ancestors might have helped construct the mighty mound and worship there in the course of time.
Although the mound, like many such locales, has been noted to have increased levels of electromagnetic readings, I noted the others in the group seemed oblivious of any thing but the rain, the cold, and the sights they were seeing. They had not touched the wall of course, but still I had to wonder if they would have experienced that thrill of the mysterious in quiet the same way or felt that rush as time and space flexed around me for that brief- all too short – time