The dolmen is thousands of years older than the tree. It has a lid, to keep out the rain, I guess. Like a tree. It’s rather held up like an offering, too. By its friends. Nice.
You can put your dead people inside. The lid keeps them in. Kind of as if the earth were a stone tree, really.
It’s not so different than what the Welsh did a few thousand years later. Only thing is, they did all that masonry to build a gate, and inside, well, every person got a slate slab, stuck up on its end, as if they were men and women waiting for Christ to walk in that door. Or to come from the sea.
The rocks have their way with us. “We will be men,” they say. And we oblige. And of those men? Well, notice how these 19th century Welsh have done with the tree thing. Their Christ does it for them all, hanging from his cross at the intersection of heaven and earth. Before Christ came along, the Welsh had a dozen sacred trees like the rowan below.
By the looks of it, they cut down the trees. The rocks won. Well, not quite. The trees are no less finished talking than the rocks are.
Good. As long as they keep talking, so do we.
Here’s what I wrote about these Welsh stones in 2003 and included in my book The Spoken World in 2011.