Contain

Snow woke us from our slumber,
open windows to a clement January eve,
more arrived beyond the foretold flurry.

We cannot contain you in prediction
or in fact, no matter our persistence.

MotherFather, Elder Brother, Sister Bride,
you are Wild in our self,
much bigger than we plainly hold.

You do not reside in books or buildings,
altar tables, cups,
images hung encrusted in gold,
flowing robes of rules.

Those, our inventions, constructed to explain.
We compose to console
but only for the privileged who agree.

MotherFather, Elder Brother, Sister Bride
You are bigger than what we may design.

Within myself, cathedral, forest glen,
Infinitity, there you reside,
MotherFather, Elder Brother, Sister Bride.

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Author’s Note:

Welcoming Brigid into my home this feast day. Acknowledging the space she can hold as Wisdom and Spirit in theThree in One. Oh, this may ruffle some feathers. But as Sophia, Brigid, also speaks to inspire us to wisdom and enlighten us to the Eternal.

And, on a different note of silliness, today two friends of mine, Michael and Kynan, responded on Facebook to our unexpected storm and made me chuckle. Our weather people this year have not been lucky in predicting the weather. We were only suppose to have a very “light flurry.”

The inspiration for my poem is Brigid’s and my friends’ honest response to our snow:

  • Kynan: One man’s flurry is another man’s winter blizzard Juno.
  • Michael:  It flurried on my happy ass last night, I had fallen asleep reading and was awoken by the snow blasting in the window I left open….

Bride of Kildare

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A clootie, prayer cloth, hanging from my tree outside welcoming St. Brigid this eve of her feast day.

Radiant Fire

Oh, my beloved, from my hands words flow,
radiant fire, Bride’s ignited glow.

In your blessing through fire’s light,
I am a poet in Brigid’s night.

Oh, my beloved, I walk your guiding rays,
luminous flame, Kildare’s bright blaze.

In your blessing through fire’s light,
I see deeply in Brigid’s night.

Oh, my beloved, I’m forged by your hand,
Mary of Gael’s ardent brand.

In your blessing through fire’s light,
I am transformed in Brigid’s night.

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Author’s Note:

Tonight is the eve of St. Brigid’s Feast Day. This year I am devoting thirty days to her and trying my hand a writing some prayers. Above is one of my first attempts.

I am learning about Celtic spirituality and she is known as a patron of poets and bards. She was a wonderful and powerful woman. A great goddess to know.

The photo is a clootie, a prayer cloth. I will say the prayer as I hang this tonight. It is said that as she travels through the veil this evening, she will bless those who welcome her with this mantle.

 

I have news for you

I have news for you

A keen wind yaws branches,
a reel stepped under icy breath
Buds burgeon on slender fingers
in ready for spring’s nativity

The red-berried tree almost empty
of its frosted wintered feast
glistens in sun’s morning glow

We are of deep winter here
our snows still come fierce and heavy
our earth solid with glacial glaze
our spring tarries elsewhere
while patience makes merry
with wintertide’s feile

This is my news

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Author’s Note:

I am preparing to celebrate the feast of St. Brigid and Imbolc. It is a journey into spring, although our spring here in Colorado will be some time in arriving.

To celebrate, I am participating in 30 Days of Brigid, a luscious on-line retreat offered by Joanna Powell Colbert. Take a look. It would be wonderful to have you walk with me this month.

Today, Joanna welcomed us to try our hand at describing our sacred space through the form of a 9th century Irish poem. Some sources say it was found scribbled on a monk’s manuscript.

“I have news for you:
The stag bells, winter snows, summer has gone
Wind high and cold, the sun low, short its course
The sea running high.
Deep red the bracken; its shape is lost;
The wild goose has raised its accustomed cry,
cold has seized the birds’ wings;
season of ice.

This is my news.”

— 9th Century Irish Poem

 

Blessings to you this day of wind and cold and ever-hopeful spring.

 

 

Brigid of Kildare

In the eye of fire your swirl of spirit burns,
heats my soul, blazes with love. I step to the

threshold, move out of my own way to watch
geese soar into the early eve’s welkin purpled

in cold that is not yet spring ready. In your
fire-flamed breath I watch my rise, a waltz in

sky’s opening. You called a whispered welcome,
a generous invitation. I step aside, my fear

grounded. I answer, bare feet push
against earth’s grip to join in your dance.

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Author’s note:

I had the pleasure of meeting a saint, a goddess, unknown to me only a few weeks ago. Fr. Scott Jenkins asked me to do the homily for our monthly Celtic mass as St. Brigid of Kildare. The mass would take place on February 1, Brigid’s feast day and Imbolc.

It was a whirlwind three weeks. Research, writing a script, addition of a baptism at the mass (oh, so appropriate!), making a costume, rehearsing, and regular life chores of a first grade teacher, wife, and caregiver.

It was well worth it.

The homily was a transforming experience for me. My church, A Church of the Holy Family, is a place of loving and wonderful people who accept all. We are part of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC). I am only a member for slightly over a year, but have been embraced and my gift of writing and acting has been encouraged and honored. I cannot have found a more welcoming home.

Also, I found Brigid, a saint and goddess I will treasure.  I was lucky to have gone on a private silent retreat during this time at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House allowing me time to explore Brigid and Celtic spirituality in some depth.  I find that Brigid is leading me in a discernment process right now. I wake to her blessings each day.

And I not only discovered Brigid, but was also connected to an artist through a dear friend, C.J. Prince, a writer who lives in Bellingham, Washington. The artist, Joanna Powell Colbert, was creating this new portrait of Brigid at the same time I was creating the homily. A print of Ms. Powell Colbert’s Brigid’s Fire now resides on my mediation altar. Please visit her site to see Brigid’s Fire, other beautiful work, and a blessing for Imbolc, the beginning of spring.

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It is hard to believe all of this  happened in a few short weeks. It is the beginning of what I hope to be a good journey.