Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Where Once Stood Servants of the King

Centuries of tales and mourning seeped from every nook and cranny as we stood amidst the ruins of Castle DunDrum. Built as a fortress and manor in 1111, now all that remains are a few walls and pillars, semblances of rooms and towers. What once may have been a dirt floor has been overgrown with a carpet of plush green grass. Weeds and wildflowers sprout from the crumbling tips of what may have presumably been a guard wall.

We climbed haphazardly, almost irreverently, along the remaining stones. Our companions were soon dwarfed in appearance from atop a curved staircase or two. Even from the court floor, however, the surrounding landscape and countryside could not be dwarfed. From across a crystalline bay, mountains loomed over us as silent guardians, fortifying yet foreboding.

While my friends and companions cheered in revelry at the marvelous site of it all, I couldn't help but meander off by myself in ponderous sadness. No where in the States will ever be this old, will ever hold this much history. There will never be a day when someone can stand on the ruins of my livelihood and romanticize at what it may have been like. You can see it already, consecrated battle grounds turned places of woredrobing worship; graveyards overrun by the green of 18 holes.

Perhaps this very ground once felt the foot falls of royalty and servants alike; troubadours and soldiers. Once a queen stood here, peering out over her realm, over her people for whom she wept and fought and loved. Perhaps the walls miss hearing the echo of voices, of royalty, of servants of the King. If nothing else, perhaps we were sent to minister to this place and be ministered by it. For on that day, at least, those walls once again echoed with voices of the Court. It reminded us of our purpose for there we stood, servants of The King.