Cretan Rock Art – a tale of earth and wind

All your life you can be walking on rocks and all you see are rocks. And then one day you see something different…and from then on you don’t see “just rocks”, but all the different shapes and possibilities…and your life changes. It really is how you look at life that matters! 

As I walked around Crete, I realised 2 things…

Firstly, without doubt the rocks are magic. They tell a story: of life, of history. I would be wandering along mountain roads, surrounded by craggy peaks and I began to see different things in the geology: incredible rock formations, shapes and faces that jumped out at me. And I could feel the energy from the stone, the power in the mountains, and it was so…invigorating.

Secondly, when the wind blows, IT BLOWS! So much so that at times I could hardly walk, as I was buffeted from all sides, my walking stick flying off and the bag on my back swaying from side to side. Or I would be camping in my tent and the wind would blow all night long, pounding and pummeling the sides of the tent, so I felt at times as if I might be torn from the ground and fly away. The wind in Crete is power in its rawest form and sometimes seems to blow for days without stopping.

Here I want to share with you some of the rocks and mountains which caught my eye as I walked the island…IMG_4245 IMG_4039 IMG_3870IMG_4005IMG_4170IMG_4235IMG_4256IMG_3969

And finally here is the mountain that was responsible for a story. When I saw it I thought instantly that it had a certain shape…IMG_4085

This is a story which was inspired by a mountain, by nature, and by the wind…in fact by the island itself…

The Story of Duncan the Dinosaur
A long time ago, when the world was still young, and you and I were not yet part of nature’s plan, dinosaurs roamed the planet. Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, some so old they just spent all day sitting, eating, drinking, and sleeping. Others, of a younger persuasion, with more active brains and bodies, would go in search of delicious tasty morsels, searching high and low for something new to tickle their taste buds. You see more than anything in the world, dinosaurs loved to eat.

One day, a hungry middle aged dinosaur called Duncan, was walking around in search of food. He was munching a tree here, and a leaf there, when suddenly he came across something he had never seen before: there in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by resin scented pine trees, was a flower. Around the base were tender, young green leaves with beautiful red veins, and a flower of such beauty it would have delighted the dinosaur queen herself. It had delicate pink leaves inlaid with semi circular disks of intense rosy purple, and at its centre was a shining yellow bud which glowed intensely with a golden light. It was as if the sun were growing out of the ground. It looked so delicious that all Duncan could think was how tasty it would be.

Now Duncan’s grandmother, who knew everything there was to know about edible flowers, had always told him to be careful when eating wild plants. “You never know what they might do to you” she would say. And then she would quote her favourite rhyme

“If you’re not careful what you eat
You could fall right off your seat.
Splutter, cough and mutter,
Send your heart into a flutter.
It will make you feel uneasy,
and you’ll end up feeling queasy.

If it looks too good to eat
then be particularly discreet,
For the chances are it will
make you feel very ill.
You could sneeze,
you may wheeze,
or be so sleepy you just freeze.

And if you fall into a doze,
There is nobody who knows,
If you’ll wake up from your sleep
So very deep, deep, deep”.

Duncan was generally a very sensible dinosaur, but when he was hungry all sense went out the window. And right now his stomach was rumbling, as if he hadn’t eaten for minutes. He leant down to sniff the flower and an intense sweet aroma filled his nose. It was all too much for the giant dinosaur. He took a bite of the green leaves, which tasted slightly bitter, like spinach; he nibbled at the pink leaves of the flower and discovered they were like the most exquisite rose. Finally he touched his tongue to the yellow centre and his mouth filled with sweet, honey-like nectar. And then, unable to resist further, he opened his mouth and gobbled the whole thing in one, savouring the mix of flavours in his mouth. It was the most wonderfully delicious thing he had ever eaten.

He smiled a huge dinosaur smile, grinning from ear to ear, licked his lips in happiness, and then, as if he hadn’t slept for a very long time, he opened his mouth and let out a huge yawn. It was a hot day after all, the sun was beating down, and Duncan thought “time for a little nap”. Suddenly he was feeling ever so sleepy, and it was all he could do not to just lie down right there next to the hole where the flower had been. His legs were feeling heavy, his eyelids were drooping, and he made his way to his favourite siesta spot. He found a comfy place next to the sea, with the cooling breeze blowing over him. He lay down, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

And as Duncan slept, the sun began to beat harder and harder, and he slept deeper and deeper. And then the wind began to blow. And it blew and it blew. But Duncan just kept on sleeping, and sleeping, and sleeping.

And then the wind changed. A cold breeze from far far away turned the wind into an icy, chilly blast. But Duncan just kept on sleeping…and the wind kept on blowing and blowing.  Despite the howling of the wind as it rattled through the valley, he still didn’t wake from his slumber. The wind and the ice, and the chill in the air froze his body and his bones so he couldn’t move. For you see, Duncan was in dreamland, the effect of the flower he had eaten, and there was nothing that could wake him up. And as Duncan slept, his little dinosaur heart began to beat slower, and slower, and slower, while the wind kept on blowing, and blowing, and blowing. And Duncan sunk into an interminable sleep.

And over the years, as the wind blew, Duncan’s skin turned to stone, hard as rock. And the dinosaur became a mountain.

But Duncan’s heart never completely stopped beating, and if you ever find yourself standing on a mountainside, and hear the beating of a heart, you’ll know that Duncan is still sleeping. But be careful, for it’s said that one day, if the wind stops blowing, and the sun shines long enough, Duncan will awake. And maybe, just maybe, dinosaurs will once again roam the land.

The incredible mountains of the Lasithi Plateau
The incredible mountains of the Lasithi Plateau

3 thoughts on “Cretan Rock Art – a tale of earth and wind

  1. Hi Dave,
    I love the story of Dunkan and the new ideas you put in it ! It’s perfect now 🙂
    It reminds me this lovely day in the mountain where we first met Dunkan…
    It was a great time.
    Hope you’re enjoying every moment… 😉
    XXX Anna

    Liked by 1 person

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