My new metaphor for not giving up: Carrowkeel

11Jul13

On our way to Sligo, we made a side trip to Carrowkeel, a megalithic passage tomb cemetery on a hilltop.
Here is the cool stuff you might want to know about Carrowkeel.
But that is not what I want to write about. I want to write about not giving up. At every obstacle there was a moment where I said, okay, let’s keep on going to Sligo. But also at every moment of uncertainty, I took one more step.
First- just finding the place was hard. Not well marked or well traveled. But we did find a brown arrow sign pointing to Carrowkeel.
And then this:

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Now I read that as, No Entry. Almost got back in the car. But that is not what it reads. It reads, close the gate behind you, fool. That is because there are sheep in here that we want to keep in here. Note that crack security system of the nylon rope loop.
We drove in, closing the gate behind us. We drove a bit farther and encountered this sign.

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We read that incorrectly, too. I was sure it said no cars, because across the road there was a sign that said no cars beyond this point. But whatever. We walked. Up. And up. And around, and past sheep poop. It was beautiful. And we were alone. Except for the noisy sheep.

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But no cairns or dolmens yet. And then we get to a sign that really said no cars past this point we turned and looked up.

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More climbing. But okay. I was wearing the wrong shoes for this, but we just kept going. After a few pauses, we reached the cairn.

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That’s cool.
Walk around it. Oh, boy.

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So my metaphor is, whatever it is that stops you – signs, your brain, your fears, your shoes, your worries and anxieties, someone else’s opinion- just keep climbing. I know that there was more to this amazing place further up, and as we were leaving, some groups were arriving with food. Most likely they were there to watch the sun set. So, in this adventure I stopped short of going the distance (I’ll say it was because I was not prepared to stay for the sun show), but it is clear to me that I stop myself, still, from doing things out of fear. For my students, I have a new empathy for the anxiety of not feeling prepared to do something new or for doing something that has aways been hard for them (reading, writing, raising a hand, asking a question, trusting themselves). I know how they feel.
Just keep climbing.



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