No one ever truly knows any answer to life’s greatest questions of all time. Like, Why are we here? or Who created God? Not a single scientific research study could prove or disprove the existence of God or provide an answer to any of these questions. At least none that I know of. Besides, I’ve got questions of my own.
I don’t really know exactly why I am doing this. Maybe it’s because of the Almanacs my mom used to bring home every month, or maybe the history books, or the History channels. Whatever it is, it became the gasoline to this burning passion to look for answers. And so I buried myself in those history books, I devoted my life in getting a degree, another one for masters, and then another for a doctorate one. My world did not revolve around the sun; it revolved around encryptions, artifacts, symbols and rituals—all for Archaeology.
One of the greatest fascinations I have, which also fueled my love for archaeology, was the Stonehenge. I first saw it while flipping the pages of a fresh issue of the World Almanac, and it was (not that I believe in it) love at first sight, I guess. And right now, because of yet another field survey, I am standing before it.
More than 15 years of squinting through almost unreadable ciphers, gasps of discovery after hours and hours of excavations and, lots and lots of caffeine—and I am here, finally, right here, right now. It all feels surreal.
Like all other of life’s greatest questions, nobody knows who, what and especially how exactly the Stonehenge was built. There’s even little or no evidence at all to confirm when it was built, nor the why. What came to me to ever dream of this—to see this towering mystery, embedded on the Earth’s solid ground—doesn’t matter now.
I remember the day I trod the sands of Egypt; my feet sinking on every step and my face being baked by the scorching heat of the Egyptian desert. That day, I had one of the longest pauses of breath in my life, as the Great Pyramid of Giza stood before me. The moment I lifted my eyes to glimpse at its peak, I couldn’t help but squint as my face got burned by the brutality of the sun; but I did not care. At this moment, I am adding yet another one to my list of longest pauses of breath.
I am not really into engineering, but these ancient marvels, how they were built with no technology such as ours today, never fail to trigger my wondering mind. Even though researchers may have ‘figured out’ how the Great Pyramids were built by what they call the “wet sand trick”, there is still debate about how exactly the ramps—the material used to raise the blocks into place—were oriented.
One of the establishments, however, that managed to have the taste of advanced technology, are bridges. Bridges aren’t actually a “lifelong dream” or that much of a big deal to anyone, or for me, for that matter; but as much as people never bat an eye in everyday that they pass above one of them, bridges constantly leave me in awe.
An activity for our Physics class may have caused this. The objective was to construct a durable bridge that could hold up the weight of several pairs of water-filled bottles set to dangle in the middle. It seemed pretty simple; we thought we’ll just tie them tightly together, and that’s it. Things got complicated when we were told that we’re allowed to use only a single bundle of barbecue sticks and limited yard of yarn. After witnessing our miniature bridge’s foundations snap after around three pairs of water bottles, I knew it really wasn’t as easy as just tying them tightly together. I never passed bridges nonchalantly ever again, from that day on.
Travelling back to present, I ask my fellow archaeologist to snap a picture of the Stonehenge I so dreamed of to personally set eyes on. Pictures from the books don’t actually make me marvel that much of the ancient structure (because I am more interested of the questions that surround it); but I know this time, this picture certainly would. Because it has me in it. So, I grin from ear to ear, just like I did at Egypt under the blazing sun.
My eyes catch the camera flash; it shines so unnaturally bright it’s actually blinding. My eyes popped open and my breathing, heavy. I reached for the alarm and threw it against the wall because it wouldn’t stop buzzing. It hit my college diploma.
I wiped the drool off of my cheeks, looked at the paper that got caught on my wrist and grieved for my unfinished doctoral thesis due today.
Author’s Note: I tried my best to make the facts accurate, but I’m still not certain, so if there are anything written here that’s not quite right, pardon me. ^_^ I wrote this for school last year. We were asked to list two things that interest us and I wrote the Stonehenge and bridges because I didn’t know we’re going to write a short story about it. XD That is why it seems a bit of a stretch with the attempt to combine the two things. LOLOLOL
Words by: Cherry Rose Guillermo Copyright © 2017 Petrichors and Metaphors
Image by: Visit London