Saturday, August 4, 2012

Brigid, Brigid, won't you come in?

Brigid, (Imbolc) fell on August 2—halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. I always love this festival because it signals the return of spring, and marks a quickening of energy. Brigid was the Celtic goddess of fire and inspiration.
In my book, Celebrating the Southern Seasons, I call this festival First Light. In old Europe, people would open the door and call out 'Brigid, Brigid, won't you come in?'
This year I was calling extra hard.
The rain was sloshing down, the wind nipped and pinched, and I began to sneeze and cough. The flu had finally caught me. I thought I'd escaped, but there we are, sometimes winter ends with a sting in its tail.
 Now I've ventured out into the sun. Yes, sun! It has returned, and is caressing the buds of the daphne bush that my friend gave me last year. She left it, gift-wrapped, on the doorstep after the teenager in our family suffered a tragic loss.
As the daphne flowers again, I remember that a whole year has passed since that event, and give thanks that our dear teenager is once more finding things to enjoy in life.
 The sun strokes the blue hyacinths, with their little bells that I fancy are sending out a ring of hope.
And the first freesia is on its way to blooming.
Brigid was associated with the ancient goddess in her maiden form. Her statue would be taken down to the sea or lake, and washed, to signify renewal. Candles would be lit to celebrate her light.

I missed our First Light/Brigid celebration this year because of being unwell. So this post has become my celebration, in honour of the return to life and hope.
For all of you who need renewal and healing:
Brigid, Brigid, won't you come in?

12 comments:

Ruth P said...

A beautiful post Juliet. Such a relief to get to this point in the year! I hope you start feeling better very soon!!

juliet said...

Thank you Ruth, I am picking up gradually.

Hotly Spiced said...

We had a beautiful day in Sydney yesterday. It was so warm and sunny. I was able to wear only two layers. It really felt like we're getting to the end of winter. I do hope Spring arrives quickly xx

juliet said...

Oh Charlie, lucky you! Sydney must be great in spring - warm, but not too hot.

Marja said...

Hope you are healing quickly. Brigid is very welcome here as well. Hope she comes in soon as we had lots of rain here. The sun only peeks through the clouds sometimes. We have however noticed the first signs of spring. Our park is full of eh I think in english it is snow flakes? In Holland we call the little white flower snow bell or winter bells.

juliet said...

Marja, sounds like the snow drops are out in your park. They are so fresh and dainty, a welcome sign of spring. Thank you for your good wishes.

lifeonthecutoff said...

Such a beautiful post in a season of renewal for you there, Juliet. Hope is such a gift and it comes in so many forms, like the daphne and hyacinth - and a young girl finding joy once again in life.

I hope you continue to feel better and can get out to enjoy more of what is emerging as you prepare to let Brigid in.

juliet said...

Penny, hope is so important,and it's a joy to see it returning - as you say - in so many different forms. Today the sun is shining and I've been able to do my tai chi on the balcony while bathed by sunbeams. What a treat. Thank you.

Lynley said...

More bright light here would be wonderful. The sky is so grey at the moment.

I like your chink of light shining through the dark....that speaks of hope. It reminds me to keep hold of that feeling.

I hope you are feeling well again Juliet.

juliet said...

Lynley, we could all do with more light at present. The chink was brilliant. I'm feeling better each day thank you.

Joan said...

So sorry to hear you have been unwell Juliet. I too missed celebrating Brigid Day. I must have a late one !

juliet said...

thank you Joan, I'm on the mend now, but still taking it slowly.