You know how you find fun things to do in your area when you have guests visiting? You want your friend/s to have a good time and see why you enjoy living where you do. You go and research things in your area that would satisfy their interests. Often, when the visit ends, you wonder why you never bothered going to these places before. You vow to make more of an effort to enjoy the fruits of your hometown, but it gets forgotten like an old resolution.
A long staying guest came to visit all of us this past winter, its name is Covid-19. I am not going to gripe about all the things the pandemic prevented me from doing. What I am going to do, is tell you about all the great places it got me to explore. Like most people, I was afraid to leave my home the first few weeks. When I did, I took short walks around my neighborhood. I have a pond that’s not too far from my home, Spy Pond in Arlington MA. I began walking there each day. After a while I decided I was going to get bored visiting the same place.
One day, my late father popped into my mind. I remembered, after moving to Massachusetts, dad would just drive the car off route to see where it led. He usually did this during inopportune times, like when I was late for work. “It’s a great way to learn your way around town”, he would say, after I complained that I was running late. When that memory came to mind, I decided to explore a new route and see where it led me. I wasn’t late for work, so what the heck. I came across a little park called Cooke’s Hollow. I had driven down that road many times, but this was just a speck of a park and easy to miss if you’re driving a car. It had a brook and little waterfall. The video above is of that waterfall. I was delighted to find it! Cooke’s Hollow inspired me to look for other areas to explore.
I had heard so many nice things about Menotomy Rocks Park so I decided to look up the exact location. I could not believe how close it was to my home. It’s a beautiful park that has a large pond, toys for the kids, and lots of trails. There are beautiful spaces that work well for picnics, yoga, or meditation. The park is vast with 35.5 acres of woodlands. It provides so much natural beauty to explore.
A photographer friend visited Ponyhenge (a playful version of Stonehenge) in Lincoln. After I saw his photos, I put Ponyhenge on my list. I’d seen Stonehenge, it was time for Ponyhenge. This is a delightful little spot. It will bring out your inner child (the happy child). There is a beautiful piece of conservation land right next to it which offers a nice spot to take a hike after visiting the toy horses. When I looked up Ponyhenge on the computer, my browser came up with all these different Henges that are up in the US. The search engine also included links to stone circles in the US and that led me on my next venture.
While looking at the stones circle links, I also saw Stone Huts in the North East. While in Ireland I visited some Beehive Huts and was excited to see that we have several Stone Huts and Beehive Huts in the New England. Some are within driving distance of my home. Their origin has been attributed to the Native Americans, as ceremonial buildings, by some and to early American colonists, as root cellars, by others. Some have even said they were built by Europeans who arrived before the Vikings. I believe they were built by an indigenous culture which is ancestral to the Native Americans. We do have writings from the settlers who first built on some of these lands. They speak of existing buildings which they referred to as "Indian forts".
I just began exploring these sites. It is my intention to visit all huts that are located on public property in New England, as long as they are easily accessible. There are a few stone huts on private property, as well. Thus far, I have visited two, one in Acton and the other in Upton. Both huts are underground although the entrances are easily visible from the outside. The Acton Stone Hut is L shaped. The Upton Beehive Hut is the largest most advanced (structure-wise), Beehive Hut in the US. It is about 8 feet in diameter with an 11 foot ceiling. There is a tunnel which lead into it. While Acton’s has no astronomical connection Upton’s Hut has a view of the Summer Solstice sun setting on the horizon from within the chamber. The Upton stone chamber aligns with the cairns on the hill, they point directly to the Pleiades constellation.
I work in the healing arts. I’m a Singing Bowl and Crystal Therapist. I’ve had some training in Shamanic Healing practices, such as Extractions and Integrations via Soul Retrieval. The Intuitive Readings I offer, partially come out of my training in Shamanism. My Singing Bowl Meditations have been influenced by Shamanic studies and Shamanic Journeys. My entire life has been deeply changed by what I have learned. The biggest lesson has been to listen to the signs that mother earth offers. She is constantly communicating with us, offering opportunities and answers.
Prior to the pandemic hitting I was planning a trip to Ecuador and Peru for the Autumn of 2020. I could cry about it, but I’m more of an optimist. I think everything happens for a reason. Perhaps things have worked out this way, partially so that I could discover all the great things that are in my own backyard. I’m looking forward to having the time to explore all the really cool places that are close to home.