If you are familiar with cairns, you might be tempted to think that their natural unit of time might be the year or even the decade. Some can, after all, survive for centuries without much change. But as today’s events taught me, a day can also be a long time in the life of a cairn. On the way to work this morning, I discovered a large white stone next to my cairn. I immediately thought of the ominous monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Who had placed the stone there, and why? Do you agree that my cairn looks menaced in the above photograph?
But then, on the way home from work this afternoon, I found my cairn had been disrupted, its stones dislodged and scattered. I told myself it was probably today’s strong winds, not wishing to believe that individual agency could be behind such destruction.
The white stone, for its part, had moved about a metre. Curious.
Tomorrow I intend to restack the stones. That, Gentle Reader, is also part of the practice of cairn building.