A Blarney Castle Healing Adventure – Why I Didn’t Kiss the Stone

The Intro…

Hey ya’ll! Did you know you can climb all those stairs but skip kissing the Blarney Stone?

In November 2023, I hopped over the pond landing a day’s exploration of Blarney Castle, Cork Ireland. Before embarking on the Ireland adventures with my son and daughter-in-law (see more details in my blog post: When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned – From Israel to Ireland), I scoured the internet for touristy highlights and pinned Blarney Castle as a possible route stop. The Castle beckons all wonderers to enter, spending moments traipsing back in time wondering about the gardens and structures along with kissing the Blarney Stone. I breathed deep and squelched my inner fear rounding the spiral staircase but decided not to kiss the infamous Blarney Stone.

The Details…

Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland is, of course, steeped in deep history. It’s a bold, gray-rocked structure sitting amidst outlying gardens. Alive and strong in the prime of completion, the castle, today, shows off the time-tested masonry work of the outer walls and spiral staircases.  It offers itself to be experienced holding many years of storied lives. Stepping through time at the gate of entry, we received maps highlighting trails, creeks, buildings, and where/how to get to the Blarney Stone. As we strolled the paved way, creeks crossed over one on top of the other flowing in opposite directions through the fall-colored grounds. I could go on and on describing the underground caves, green fern gardens, rock-walled orchard, horse-filled pastures, and rainbow-filled sky, but that would be another book! I have included several pictures at the end of this post.

The Why…

Wondering about the gardens, we strolled Blarney Lake’s banks following the path to approach castle doors that lead round and round to the top. I was enjoying my medieval experience catching a glimpse of previous residents’ lives: Cutting firewood and keeping it burning for winter warmth, gardening-to-harvesting vegetables and fruits for life’s sustenance, forging weapons to ensure personal safety. Tasks to survive filled the day’s agenda. Reminded me of my own survival mode after my life-shattering experience (more about this can be found in my book: Living Beyond the Night the Cops Showed Up). Seemingly just barely enough energy to get out of bed and make it through the day. Work, get food, get clean, get rest – repeat. Far from medieval times and years out from my trauma/drama event, I proudly gazed over the horizon standing atop Blarney Castle. I, like those in the storied past, make it to share my account of living life on a large scale.

Circling up clockwise 5 stories, the 128 tiny steps barely held ½ of my foot. I sturdied my balance in upward pull on the center hanging rope banister. With bended head through the last opening, I gasped as the pictured landscape caught my eye. The fresh Ireland air filled my lungs and a large smile crossed my face. I might not be here if some of the worst stuff in my life hadn’t happened. I felt likened to those namesakes of Blarney Castle who faced many challenges, building and rebuilding throughout their history. Here I was, similar in spirit, built and rebuilt life now standing triumphant atop Blarney Castle. The bell tower stood silent but appeared ready to clang a resounding echo commemorating my triumphal appearance. This seemed to be the real ‘why’ I was here.

The Sum Up…

The Blarney Stone lives with many renditions leading to the legend of kissing the stone endowing the kisser with the ‘gift of gab’ or ‘eloquent speech’. One story is shared near Blarney Lake, pictured below. The stone is built into the outer wall and requires quite the gymnastic maneuvering into place on your back, scooching outward to stretch lips and make contact with the gray stone. To be authentically honest, I wasn’t gonna try and get down into and then up from the ‘kissing position’. Also, I laughed to myself thinking of the whispered story my friend shared concerning the stone. But all in all, the sterilizing of the stone between lip smacks with spraying chemicals and wiping with a cloth, kinda deterred my desire to do a backbend and strain my neck for a ‘gift of gab’ I seemingly already possess!

My siege of making it to the top, coupled with a most spectacular Ireland view spanning forever, brought a peace-filled sigh that trumped the typical tourist attraction.

Sharing my story even now conjures up feelings of personal feat – and that was more than worth it!

Please scroll down and enjoy a few of my personal pictures while visiting Blarney Castle and Gardens.

Me relishing the view atop Blarney Castle – Ireland

The Question…

Would you kiss the stone?

The Challenge…

Pay attention to your choices, the obvious and the not-so-obvious!

The Live Beyond It Encouragement…

Have a fantastic rest of your day and it’s okay if you do or don’t kiss the Blarney Stone!

Thanks for stopping by…😊 See ya!

Photo credits on this post: My son and Clemmie-Li Clyde

Blarney Castle
Blarney cave – under the castle
Side view of Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle – Obligate
Looking up at the Blarney Stone
Inside Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle – Murder Hole
Blarney Castle Steps to climb up to the Blarney Stone
Blarney Stone – To Kiss or Not To Kiss?
Blarney Castle – Bell Tower
Story of the Blarney Stone – found at Blarney Lake
Blarney Lake
Rainbow over Blarney Castle Gardens
Blarney Castle gardens – Orchard wall
Blarney fall gardens
Blarney Castle – Fern garden

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