Wouldn’t you know. I love a good cairn. A cairn… pretty much…. is a human-made stack of stones. Sometimes, it is more like a big pile of rocks. But me? I definitely stack ‘em. Just a few at a time.
The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn . When you pronounce, it sort of sounds like Karen. But without two syllables. But hey. I don’t care how you say it, or even how the word was born. I just love them cairns.
Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purpose… all the way back from pre-historic times … and right up to the present.
At present, I build them a lot.
But mostly these days…. … other people…. erect cairns as landmarks. Trail makers and such. This is one of the same uses they have had since ancient times, but there are many others.
Since prehistory… we are talking a long, long time ago…. cairns have served a variety of functions. Like… they have been built and used as burial monuments. Creepy. They’ve been constructed for defense and hunting. Also creepy…. but like you are creeping around, creepy.
For instance, here in the Americas, around 12,000 years ago, indigenous peoples erected them for game-driving “lanes” leading to buffalo jumps. Now, I am not entirely sure how this works, or even why a buffalo would jump… but that is what I researched. I guess the buffalo are jumping… like exercising… to get fit. The Bison Olympics and all.
Another cool old-timey use was for ceremonial purposes… which scientists have proven to relate to astronomy. Starlight, smtarbright… build a bunch of rocks tonight.
And, the last one I will mention refers to the prehistoric squirrel in us. People built cairns so they could locate buried items…. such as caches of food or objects.
“Hey… where in the world did I bury that brontosaurus steak? “
“Third cairn on the left, Grog. “
So there you have. A history, albeit, a very brief history, of the cairn. All around the globe throughout time, they have been constructed and used in various cultures and for numerous reasons.
But why use a stack of rocks for some many different purposes, and important functions?
My personal theory on this is that Rocks Rock. They totally rock. They are second nature to us. Many of us don’t connect with rocks because we aren’t able to sense the energy they give off. Their “frequency.” Then there are those of us who can identify this. We know who we are, and we know who we aren’t.
But that doesn’t matter, really. We all have different gifts, skills, awarenesses, aptitudes. Just because you are a Rock-Biter doesn’t make you better than the next Joe. I’ll tell you that right now. Heck, they might be a Tree-Hugger and you have no idea how to do that.
We should be glad for who we are. Each one of us, and our very own mad skills. Just remember this today: You totally rock. Now…. go hug somebody.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. — Carl Jung
Life is a horizontal fall. — Jean Cocteau
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe