Last Sunday, I got telling the folks of Trinity Church a bit about the Celtic Calendar and about St. Brigid. Imbolc, on the Celtic Calendar, is tomorrow, February 2. It is a day that honors the waning of winter, laying as it does on their calendar half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It is a day that honors the celtic goddess and Catholic saint, Brigid.
There are lots of wonderful legends about Brigid, among them is that her cross of straw, made every year anew on Imbolc, can help to provide you with protection and light.
Check out the door handles on St. Brigid of Kildare, Ireland – this is their front door welcoming all, whoever you are, in bronze:
The candle in the featured image of this post is the St. Brigid candle that Mary Meighan, our celtic guide, lit for us each of the nine days she led us in our celtic pilgrimage. For Patricia and me, Brigid, has to do with light. We still have the candle and light it on special occasions. We will light it tomorrow night as we have dinner. We will ask for blessings upon you.
Thoughts of Brigid and Mary, Imbolc and winter’s waning, the darkness and the light, led me on this first night of February, 2016, to “seven pictures of light” from our 2012 time in Ireland for you to enjoy. With each picture there is a description of the location of the image and there is a question, seven in all, for you to ponder.
Sunset on Dingle Bay, the North Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland, looking toward the east coast of the USA. What have been your favorite settings of the sun?
Rainbow, looking east across Dingle Bay from Kells toward Dingle. Which rainbows have inspired you to greatness?
Fog settling on the Gap of Dunloe in County Kerry, Ireland. Who/what do you trust when you can’t see, for sure, where you are headed?
Ancient stone walls separating Irish fields, some in the shadow of overcast skies and some in the direct sunlight of a break in the clouds, south of Dingle, Ireland. What are the ancient walls, dividing this from that, within your soul?
Nine stones leading across the Glendasan River to Riversdale B&B in the Glendalough Valley of Ireland, south of Dublin. Thank you, Liam and Zell. We spent nine days and nights in the stone cottage to the right of this picture. What are nine stepping stones of your spiritual journey?
Keeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Patricia’s joy, on the rugged coast of Dingle Bay, the North Atlantic, the town of Kells on the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ireland. What do you know of joy . . . and when?
A rose and a ribbon left in prayer at the ancient sacred well of St. Brigid not far from Kildare, Ireland. Who will you pray for tonight because you have read this post?
Along with these images of Ireland for you on the eve of Imbolc (we are half way to spring equinox from winter’s solstice), here is a blessing for you shared with Patricia and me by Mary Meighan:
May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm her/himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.