Wild Goose Chase to a Dead End
We went on a daft hike to the middle of nowhere today as we parked at the wrong car park.
So much so, that after a couple of hours of hiking to the middle of nowhere and back, we retreated to base and took some time off for some lunch. In the afternoon I ventured forth again with the one (not all that ) willing child and tried the other car park and hey – it was the right one. Phew.
We found what I had been looking for – the chambered Cairn of Corrimony. It is a huge cairn with a tunnel into a chamber in the centre. Around the outside are twelve smallish standing stones. The cairn was built 4000 years ago as a burial mound for someone. I was interested that the information thing about it mentioned “cup marks” in relation to markings on what would have been the roof.
Cup-marks get a mention in Seamus Heaney’s poem “Funeral Rites”. He is writing about the Troubles and the funerals that take place after each “neighbourly murder” and he says that he would turn back time so far that the funeral rituals would predate the conflict: – here’s a quote:
I would restore
the great chambers of Boyne,
prepare a sepulchre
under the cupmarked stones.
In the poem he makes a quiet suggestion of unity through perhaps breaking the cycle of the feuds:
imagining those under the hill
disposed like Gunnar
who lay beautiful
inside his burial mound,
though dead by violence
Interesting that the burial mound he was referring to in in Ireland, and this one is in the Highlands of Scotland, but the cup-marks and the basic structure of the mound was similar – although the one at Newgrange is much bigger.
As interesting as the cairn was, I was more interested in putting the standing stones to a 21st century use. I am doing a 15-burpees-every-day-challenge for the next fortnight, so I did a burpee at every standing stone in a circle (and a few extra) as my fifteen burpees for the day.
I was glad to have found the cairn.
I like cairns.