Ward Chronicles - Volume 3



Rock Cairn

The first time I saw a cairn I was climbing the highest peak in the United Kingdom...Scotland's Ben Nevis. Cairns are a man made pile of stacked stones. Now I find myself climbing Easton Mountain which is by no means a peak but covered in cairns just-the-same. I see them everyday. Visitors and residents alike seem compelled to build these beautiful and yet temporary structures on the property and I am glad of it. I have made arrowheadone or two myself. There is nothing like the feeling of holding a stone warmed by the afternoon sun as you try to gingerly balance it on top of another...or on several others...a three stone stack...sure that's a cairn..but a cairn anyone can make....go upwards of 5 stones and we are talking master builder. I find that there is a strength in stones. The Mountain itself, like much of upper New York, is made of bluestone...this area is thebluestone capital of the United States...it was used as the foundation for the Statue of Liberty and for the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. I love the feeling of connection to the land here at Easton and with it a connection to history. This area also has a Native American history. Just a few weeks ago artist David Brewster and I were walking in the apple orchard and we found a leaf point flint...or what looks like the beginnings of one. I also love that the property was once part of the vast Herrington Family Farm and is surrounded by the ruins of stacked stone walls that were popular in this region in the 17 and 1800's. A popular poet of the 1700's was Robert Burns...author of "Auld Land Syne" which we sing every New Year's, but he is not my favorite Scottish writer...That honor belongs to Ivor Cutler. Who hails from Glasgow...my mother's hometown. He wrote the genius "Stones" which I find myself singing almost every day...

Stone WallStones are a lot like people Cept they know more and say less God bless stones... oh..and pebbles too... for they have feelings.

I sing because I feel blessed to live among the stones of Easton.