For her birthday, my dear friend Kirsten asked us to join her in a trip to Argyll, Scotland, where she was tracing her old, old family roots. We visited a series of ancient and sacred sites, including Kilmartin Glen. Kirsten had asked us each to research two of the sites, so we could tell the others about it. One of my sites was Nether Largie Standing Stones.
Here is the story I told.
The Story of the Nether Largie Stanes
It was a dark night, and Earth was feeling lonely. Oh, how lonely she felt. True, she loved her job holding and feeding all her many people, and true, they often talked with her, as they farmed, or prayed, or held council. But what Earth really wanted was a peer. Someone who understood how it felt to bear all that responsibility, that gravity.
Earth longed for a sister.
Many was the time she would gaze up into the infinite black ocean of the sky, where Moon was making her way like a great silver ship across the night. Sometimes she was bright and round like a ball, other times she was slight, like a delicate bone. Earth was fascinated by her intriguing comings and goings.
“Mooooooon!” Earth would call up into the darkness. “Gealllaaaach! Come down here and talk with me, for I long for a sister who understands me, and I feel you could be the one.”
But Moon never seemed to hear. She would carry on her way like a great silver ship, without so much as a sideways glance.
Well, on this especially lonely night, Earth tried again. Up she looked, into the deep black ocean sky, and sure enough there was Moon, rising beyond the mountains of Argyll.
“Mooooooon!” Earth called up into the darkness. “Gealllaaaach!”
But Moon did not seem to notice. Onwards she sailed, slowly through the darkness.
Suddenly, Earth had a plan.
She squeezed her eyes closed, squeezed in her elbows, squeezed up her cunt, she squeezed and squeezed and… POP! A great grey stane shot up from the land, like a giant needle.
With bated breath and a pounding heart, Earth watched excitedly to see what Moon would do.
But Moon paid no heed. Onwards she sailed, slowly through the darkness.
Earth tried again. She squeezed her eyes closed, squeezed in her elbows, squeezed up her cunt, she squeezed and squeezed and… POP! Another great stone shot up, right beside the first.
With bated breath and a pounding heart, Earth fixed her eyes on Moon. And this time, though the night was a little cloudy and Moon was so very far away, she fancied that she saw her slow, just a little, and turn, just a bit.
Earth wasted no time. She squeezed and squeezed and POP! POP! Up shot two more stanes, not too far from the first.
Now she really had Moon’s attention. Moon stopped and stood stock still in the sky, gazing down at the field of four beautiful stanes Earth had created.
“Mooooooon!” Earth called up into the darkness. “Gealllaaaach! Come down here and talk with me, for I long for a sister who understands me, and I feel you could be the one.”
Moon’s heart thumped. For she was lonely too, so very lonely, out there in the black ocean sky. She was gazed upon with wonder, but never touched, never known. She longed for a friend, but she had never imagined that juicy, green, luscious Earth would ever be interested in a dry, grey little rock like her.
Quickly checking that the stars were not looking, Moon slipped down to Earth and landed with a soft thud.
POP! Earth was so excited that another stane shot up right beside her, taking them both by surprise!
Moon looked at Earth, and Earth looked at Moon…
…and they both started laughing. They laughed and they laughed. They laughed til they cried, and they cried til they laughed, and they laughed and cried and talked all night long. And their tears fell onto the stanes and wore little dents all over them.
And from that night to this, whenever one of them had a story to tell, or felt lonely, or needed to talk with a good good friend, here they would meet, right here at Nether Largie, beside these five great stanes, and they would laugh, and cry, and talk, as sisters do. And neither were lonely again.
And the people of this land, too, noticed the stanes, and they noticed how the moon felt so much closer there, on certain special nights. And so they would gather here when they, too, wished to talk with Moon and learn the mysteries of her nightly journey across the black ocean sky.
And that is the story of the Stanes of Nether Largie, and how Earth and Moon became the best of friends.