What’s a cairn, anyway?

Updated: Jul 1, 2018


cairn

kern

(noun)

  1. 1. a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline.



Early in her journey, Shannon discovers a series of five cairns in a meadow. Four sit at the edges of the clearing, one facing each direction. The fifth cairn sits in the middle. Shannon discovers secrets buried beneath the rock structures that make her question her journey and, at the same time, make her want to continue onward.


Much like Geocaching, building cairns seems to be the latest craze for nature lovers. I've seen them in various settings and regions of the country. It's an ancient practice, but one that is enjoying a resurgence. I like to think of it as a sign that more and more people are getting out into nature and interacting with it in a non-intrusive (and fun!) way.


Rock balancing is related to cairn-building. Instead of marking a place, rock balancing focuses on the technique itself.


Have you seen cairns in the wild? Have you tried balancing rocks?