“From the beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see.”
- Pema Chodron
Well I said I wanted to really celebrate International Women’s Day this 2022 and that we did! It was a mighty, mighty big celebration of 25 women who decided taking a walk in the hills would be the best option to share, care, and bear the burdens of life together.
And, the burdens of life seemed far less substantial when compared to the initial uphill task at hand. No time for woes when each step in front of you takes all the determination you can muster just to get one more step.
From the beginning, the steepness of this hike verges on the near vertical leaving all chats and thoughts aside and the focus solely in the throws of the physical realm. One more step, foot goes here, it must end soon. “Is Kelly crazy? Is this the way? How much more up, up, up??” These thoughts may have whittled out a small space in each hikers’ mind, but not for long. The sun was just over the next rise.
Soonish it did end. The tough climb found many of us relieved that the toughest section was behind us. Although, some looked on in wonderment, unconvinced that the next peak ahead was indeed easier:) But, the ascent worked its magic, the endorphins were flowing, satisfaction burning and mostly relief that it had ended.
In the middle, the more calming ridge walk and the remnant satisfaction of making it this far washed over this gaggle of girls allowing chitter chatter to echo through the hills, smiley faces to welcome the peek a boo sun, and the girly giggles wardEd off any nerves or hesitation.
But, what brought us all together was summiting Benbrack and we were happily rewarded with a calmness on the top that left me flabbergasted and repeating myself, “I can't believe there is no wind, where is the wind, it is usually so windy up here!” But, it didn't take us long to revel in our good fortune and with good fortune often comes a good feed.
And so we dined on the top taking in the views reaching out into the Atlanitc capturing Inishturk Island, sweeping over to Mweelrea Peak, and resting softly on little Tulla. We chatted about magic bags from ‘toogoodtogo’, laughed with one another, and with all good Irish celebrations we wrapped it up with an After Eight, apparently, a real family tradition, well maybe just in my husband’s family;)
In the end, we bumbled our way down the hillside avoiding bog holes here, bog holes there, sometimes not avoiding at all finding bog holes everywhere.
Luckily, we all made it down with two feet and two shoes intact. Although at one stage I thought my boot was destined to become one with the bog. Not this day though!
Laura's feet; however, did commune with this little creek:)
At the very end, we made it back and were delighted to be refreshed by my first ever sponsorship deal:) Ok might be a slight exaggeration, but beverages were donated by Allaboutkobucha. The girls brought the booch in droves to quench our thirst. I quenched mine twice, once with raspberry and another with lemon and ginger.
And at the very, very end the ladies I brought in the van reflected on why we like to climb mountains and get outside so much. What does it do for us?
And, I think it is always the same for me. Getting outside, climbing mountains, being part of a group that has come together for the same reason and all different reasons all at once never fails to create, "Special moments, Special, Special moments. You can sing it if you like, I do!!
This International Women's Day really did feel special, thank you all for this Special moment, Special,
Special moment, yah!