For better or for worse, it is February.
Winter is lolling in our laps in the Berkshires, too warm, too mild, not enough snow. Just not enough winter. Nothing but this sluggish gray lumpen thing that won’t get up and off your thighs.
Just when I thought I’d get to write about ice skating in the dark with my 12 year old friend Sophie, who is whip smart and sharp edged and gorgeous on the ice, dark shape against the moon lit sky cluttered with clouds, I find myself instead, on February 1 thinking of St. Brighid.
“The household fire is sacred to Brighid. The fire should be kept going, and each evening the woman of the household would smoor the fire, (cover it over to keep the fire overnight), asking for the protection of Brighid on all its occupants. “
Copyright © 1997 Branfionn NicGrioghair
Close readers here know that I am a devotee to St. Brighid, Brigid, Brigit, however you name her, she is the Celtic Goddess of fire and the hearth, of poetry, healing and childbirth. And she is known to have invented whistling. She whistled to the women in her community to draw them together.
I cannot claim to have had St. Brighid on my mind this morning when I was whistling away in the kitchen, just a lilting Lutheran hymn that was stuck in my head, when Catherine hollered down impatiently requesting me to cease the tune. But today, I can claim to say that the chosen Goddess of Rising Forth, St. Brighid (go ahead and pronounce it “breed” unless you have Celt in you and can roll those sounds together) is in full residence. I may not be able to whistle to you each, but this website is a call to action.
In all her forms, she brings to one inspiration (a fire quality) and provides the spark for motivation.
On Sunday evening, earlier this week, I hosted my first online writing workshop with ten women. We had a wonderful time together, lots of quiet space in the 90 minutes, women’s heads bowed towards their journals writing, lots of smiles and nods as we share small bits, getting used to being a virtual room together.
This coming Sunday, I am whistling up a new round of Sacred Refuge Sundays, here in Great Barrington. This class offers a full range of what I love, from mindfulness practices to book making to gratitude offerings made under the towering oak in my backyard. This intimate group spends four months of writing and working in hand bound books one long Sunday afternoon a month. We tend the hearths of our hearts with paint, cups of hot tea, a wide variety of mark-making techniques and a host of soulful practices designed to wed your inner journey to creative practice.
Now is the
“Time to place a bet on your creative power.”
-Miriam Dyak Mother Tongue Ink 2015
If you are within driving distance to Great Barrington, I invite you to Sacred Refuge Sundays. I am extending the early bird price until Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we set forth at 12:30 PM. If you or one in your circles are aching to create in community and weave a shimmering mantle of your own words and images, please extend this invitation to them.
And wherever you are, in the early morning hours of February 2, step outside and whistle. Your sisters will be doing the same, rising forth, listening for spring.
PS My Quest-sister Marisa Goudy is celebrating St. Brighid today too. xoS