Essay: Hitchhiking to Stonehenge

Apr 12, 2019

Homer asked if I wanted to go to Stonehenge. “We’ll have to hitch-hike,” he said, so we took the London tube as far west as we could and stood in the rain with our thumbs out. A lorry driver waved and shifted his enormous semi down, down until it finally stopped and we climbed into the cab. 

I sat backwards on the gearbox and admired the driver’s cranberry vest, the tattoos on his forearms. “Thirty-two tons of Scotch whiskey,” he said.

At Amesbury, he found us a ride to Salisbury Plain. And suddenly, there they were—the gray giants in a sacred circle, standing stones that had been standing since the dawn of time. Built to calculate the dawn of time, in fact, the return of the sun each spring solstice.

The sun had returned for us, too, and dried off the grass where we sat with cheap wine and bread. We put away our cameras and brochures. I knew there were lots of theories about the history of this prehistoric site, but I wanted to absorb its mystery first.

“Maybe we should all just worship the sun,” Homer said. “It’s the reason for everything. We could stop fighting and sit together on the grass.”