One of my favorite narratives has always been the contrast of ancient sacred sites hiding in the backyards and woods lots of modern suburbia. I always like the theme but thought of it as a bit superficial. After all this juxtaposition of the ancient with the modern may be interesting story telling but it has little to do with the main subject of rock piles. However, once and a while, I am reminded that this story of juxtaposition isn't just narrative fluff but perhaps is itself a crucial part of the story. The more I see it, the more I find it hard to believe, the more the idea is enforced that many of the rock piles come after the European features. It is the only thing that makes sense. So here is a picture which is holographic of the story - containing the whole story within itself: In the background is a large patch of Pachysandra - a popular ground cover used by Europeans as a planting around the house. In this picture it is a very safe assumption that there was a colonial -or later- house with a Pachysandra planting around it and, long since, the Pachysandra has grown and spread out to form this patch we see today. On the other hand, in the foreground, is a rock pile which looks delicate and new. Could the pile be older than the Pachysandra? No way. In fact this part of the woods (eastern foot of Robbins Hill in Chelmsford) looks to be where the reported lime quarrying must have taken place - it is a part of the hill that has been much disturbed. Such a delicate pile would not have survived the coming and going of many people. But there it is.
Why is it so hard to believe this pile is recent and the Pachysandra is old? Yet that is obviously the case. I emphasize this because it is the story, not simply part of the story-telling. It is very hard to accept that the Indians were and are here and were and are performing ceremonies in these our European backyards.