A Kinbane Castle Healing Adventure – How I Made It to the Edge

The Intro…

Hey ya’ll! Did you know there is no castle in Ballycastle, Ireland?

Traveling abroad last November, I got up close and personal with natural, historic Ireland. More about my trip can be found in my blog post: When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned: From Israel to Ireland. My son, daughter-in-law (DIL), and I hopped a flight to the Emerald Isle. Before packing, I scoured the interwebs and found interesting sights that beckoned our heart’s desires. Since castles dot the European lands, this was the obvious choice; visit as many as would fit into our one-week stay.

Day 2 was slotted and our car followed the map to Ballycastle, Ireland. Well, with humoristic confession, I was under the notion that there was a castle, named Bally Castle, in the town of Ballycastle. The map guidance system directed our little rent car round and round the block adamantly proclaiming, “You have reached your destination!” We strained our necks peering through the car windows in hopes of catching a glimpse of the towering structure that should be easily spotted. Several minutes of conversation and questioning led to the decision to double-check the internet. My DIL and son came to the comical conclusion there is no actual castle structure in Ballycastle, but that the town’s name is Ballycastle!

With this new discovery, my wonderful DIL found some castle ruins nearby that were open for exploration. My son popped the gear shift into drive chauffeuring us off to Kinbane Castle ruins. Little did we know a challenge awaited our arrival.

The Details…

Kinbane Castle ruins rest upon a jutted-out tip of Ireland. We navigated down a one-vehicle lane. Spotting the oncoming car, my son found reverse and backtracked into a gated entrance. The empty lane welcomed us again and winded down escorting us into the gravel parking lot. Closing the doors and popping the lock button, we proceeded on foot to the sweeping stairs.

The sloping concrete steps hugged the rounded edge of a cliff. Each step closer allowed more and more view of what lay ahead.  The deepening blue sky gently accompanied the sinking sun spotlighting the gray rock walls standing watch over the open ocean cove. Waves washed over one another pushing their white foam through the rounded rock beach. Two little black heads popped in out of the blue water. My son spotted the seals playfully swimming around in the cove.

Pathway to the edge

The Why…

Kinbane Castle offered an invitation, but strategic challenges thwarted the footpath. Many steps later my Skechers met the squishy, wet green growth being mowed down by a small flock of lazy, grazing spray-paint striped sheep.

Albeit, glances back from the steps provided the picturesque water cascading off high black rocks splashing into below salt-water waves. Seconds encompassed moments as I stretched legs and balanced feet through the slippery rock pathway. Pride swelled my chest and a broad smile crossed my face as my fingers graced the ages old fortress ruins. My eyes traced each rock and crevice up the wall. Years upon years in the building and still standing, speaking from a past to present day into the future ahead.

“Keep going…,” silent whispers spurred me towards the tip. Hesitations gripped my nerves spotting the narrow, muddy worn path.

“I can’t do it!” wailed my thoughts seeing the steep drop-off onto jagged rocks, snarling below.

Words broke my entranced fear, “Come on Madre!”

Standing with extended hand and braced feet, my son determined not to let me fall and not to let me miss the opportunity of bragging rights of making it to the edge and not to let me miss that view. 

I paused upon the tip and sat, peering out over those ocean waters thinking of those who lived here. We weren’t that different, they were a tough surviving people as I am a tough surviving person. The edge is where I was grateful to look back from where I came and ahead to whatever awaits.

The Sum Up…

The imaginary castle escapade pointed us to nearby castle ruins. I can’t help but think that this was the intended path for me to be trekking. Even though life throws some altering events our way doesn’t mean we have to completely stop along life’s path. Healing requires one to keep moving, keep taking one step at a time even when it’s scary and hard.

Pause along the way and relish with pride how far you have come and what stands before you but continue to follow those beckoning whispers. Look up to see who is ready with extended hand to ensure you keep going on to the blessing of whatever lies at the edge.

Please scroll down and enjoy a few of my personal pictures while exploring Kinbane Castle ruins.

Stopping on the edge – reflection behind and ahead

The Question…

What trek has led you to a stopping moment and who was there to assist your continued journey?

The Challenge…

Take those difficult steps all the way to the edge!

The Live Beyond It Encouragement…

Have a fantastic rest of your day and stop to breathe in the present moment acknowledging your proud progress!

Thanks for stopping by…😊 See ya!

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

Date published: May15, 2024

Rounding the steps – the castle came into view
Waterfall
Kinbane Castle, Northern Ireland
Striped sheep
Cove beach and waterfall
Looking through the Rock Wall
Kinbane Castle Sunset
Kinbane Castle – front entrance
Looking back from the edge
One last look back!

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