A recent visit to Waverley Abbey gave me pause to reflect on the influences of man. This can be seen in both the historic, the time of upheaval and right up to the present day.
Build in 1128 it thrived so that in just 60 years it had grown from 12 monks to an establishment with 70 monks and 120 lay members in residence. See the details from English Heritage at https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/waverley-abbey/history/
The dissolution of the monastries in 1536 when the UK broke with the Roman Catholic church lead to much of the buildings being destroyed- yet despite that significant parts are still standing
The influence of man is still present however.
There are the remnants of the fortifications built to stop a potential invasion of the UK in World War 2.
These are symbolic of a time when UK and much of Europe were at loggerheads. As the Abbey is located not for from a commuter station to London then the theme tune of Dads Army with Mr Brown going up to town on the 08.21 is perfectly relevant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfQwHb1pWPE
I have another piece about daily travel to Waterloo on the 18.21 which you may also want to read. It shows the history of the place and the things that matter are still there although much changed https://inspireretirenow.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=103&action=edit
Then there is mans influence on the nature. There are colonies of moles living in the nearby grounds and in some ways the number of mole hills suggest that it is Mole city. Yet despite them not harming man directly there are some who have wanted to show their domination over these creatures. I refer to the heavy foot prints on some of these mole hills. Mankind is alarmed and distressed when we have landslides, or avalanches. I wonder what the effect is on the mole community.
Other aspects visible.
Other aspects were surprising. The risks from smoking are well publicised. Did the owner of this cigarette packet attend the Abbey for help to stop or to get inner peace when the results of this habit on their health had became all to clear?
The discarded dog toy or the plastic bag in the tree are not things to be proud of and I wonder if the religious and sacred history of this site is known.
Finally we see the different time scales all together at the one scene
There is the building which dates back to the 1200, the tree which may be up to 400 years old and then there is the jet aircraft flying overhead. This technology was only developed a maximum of 75 years ago and the plane is much newer than that.
If we see the changes there have occurred since the Abbey was established, we can only wonder what will happen in the future.
Some things however seem not to change. Keeping warm and sitting around a fire are things we can still appreciate to this day.
It is said that the same problem/crisis occurs when those who lived through it last time have retired.
As somebody who has retired I hope that this has inspired you to look again at things around you. History is all around us and the messages that it gives are relevant to us today.