The weather was good and with thermals under our clothes, we celebrated winter solstice at Stonehenge. Arriving before 7am meant we got the last of the legit parking spots up a track with only a short walk to the site. We followed the sounds of the drums to the gathering outside the gates. Cloaks and staffs (some beautiful carvings) surrounded us and I wished I had my blanket jumper with me (aka monk hoodie, hunchback of Notre Dame costume etc).
Not only would it have been perfect for the weather, but I wouldn't have felt conspicuous wearing it - it's not the sort of thing you can wear down the high street. Alas, we'd travelled with a backpack from France and I'd made the decision to carry lighter, smaller packing, synthetics. It made me think about how we used to not have several changes of clothes, especially if travelling. Granted wool is naturally antibacterial but it will get smelly eventually!
We were allowed into the stone circle before first light. Our photos of the first half hour are very poor, very grainy. The light came up slowly and not dramatically. Every now and then we'd remind ourselves that we were chanting in the dark a while earlier. Druids led chants and blessings to the four directions, the world and to the elements. Horns of mead were shared. Tears streamed and smiles beamed. The drummers carried on beating out a rhythm and an accordion joined in. The sun breaking orange over the horizon was watched by everyone. And then we all slipped away to appreciate the coming seasons, the shorter darkness and the life of the countryside.