Another year, another summer solstice – and another massive crowd descends upon Stonehenge to mark the occasion. As many as 37,000 people, according to this BBC News report. By all accounts, the proverbial good time was had by all.
And yet, and yet… once again I find myself wondering why so many think that Stonehenge is the only place to be. Across this scepter’d isle there must be hundreds, probably thousands, of similarly ancient sites, each with its own particular historic local significance, be it as a solar calendar, sacred space, whatever. Any – all – of them are more than likely eminently suitable for those who wish to mark the solstice – they’d more than likely be far less crowded, for sure. But apparently, only Stonehenge will do. To an extent I can empathise with that – it is, after all, such a powerful space, its presence exerts a pull in ways that are hard to verbalise – but then I see photos like these of the aftermath and all I see is desecration, sacrilege. How can people leave the place like this? Could you really not manage to drop litter everywhere?
Sometimes I despair of my fellow humans, really I do.
Image attribution: Both these images were plucked from my various social media newsfeeds today as they floated by, but unfortunately the only credits I’ve been able to find are sketchy, to say the least. For the record, the information I have is as follows:
Upper photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Lower photo: Tim Ireland/Getty Images, found at The Blaze
I’m using these images entirely without permission, not for any kind of financial gain, but simply because I felt they were appropriate to illustrate this post – if by chance the owners of the rights to the images should see this and wish me to remove them, please leave a note in the comments.