21st July was one month on from my Mum’s funeral, on the Solstice. She died, or left her body, on 8th June, after a long struggle with MS. She was very much on my mind naturally, so recently deceased and such a massive quake in the family’s heart. She will always be with me, in me and I brought this powerful emotional energy with me, to the Barrow. I embraced the stones with all my being trying to feel their lifeforce supporting me, hear their distant stories.
We found, at Coldrum Long Barrow, next to the stone formation a large far-reaching beech tree, sprawling tentatively over one corner of the horseshoe. We discovered, attached to many branches, twigs and leaf clusters, numerous offerings and messages tied; it was a memorial tree covered in ribbons, photos, mementoes and miscellanea. Just as I was thinking it, Steve suggested we remove wool bracelets given us at a Solstice ritual at the end of the funeral day and attach them to the tree. It seemed the right thing, so in a moment of reflection, we each made this gesture to mark the passing of Mum and her memory which we cherish. Connecting her, us with stone age burials at a timeless spot.
In the week following our photoshoot, I was modelling not far from the location, and it turned out one of the elderly women artists I’ve known for years, lives in a cottage – one of a handful that may be seen from Coldrum Long Barrow. I told her about the shoot and my penchant for ancient stones, and she said to drop by next time I’m in the area. Apart from the enduring appeal of Coldrum Long Barrow, there are several other sites nearby, part of the Medway Megaliths.