February 1, Saint Brigid's Day. The first day of spring here in Ireland. As I write, schoolchildren are parading down the street below carrying their Saint Brigid's crosses. The cross is traditionally hung in homes for protection, and it seems fitting that as the latest storm, Henry, rips through town with gale winds, the sun is breaking through with blue patches in the sky. Brigid and spring determined to turn the darkness of winter into the new light of spring.
The history of Brigid, the beliefs and customs associated with her date back to pre- Christian times and briefly, Brigid represents a holy trinity of maiden, mother, crone. Or life, death and rebirth. Today marks the end of the dark winter and the regeneration of life. I am embracing this day as it is one of hope and light. The days are gaining in daylight and daffodils and crocuses are beginning to show themselves in the garden. There is a lifting of the heaviness that has hung over us these last few months. While my life here is incredible and I am thrilled that I found the courage to make this year a reality, I have to admit I wasn't prepared for the darkness. I really didn't think anyplace could be darker than Vermont. I was wrong, and truth be told I struggled some weeks. Fortunately, I found a therapeutic dose of vitamins and exercise so was able to lift myself out of my own darkness. So, you can imagine how happy I am to celebrate this day of light and life.
Renewal is such a wonderful gift. A chance to be reborn. To start over. A time to plant the seeds for growth. I'm excited for this opportunity to continue anew on this journey. I have no idea where it will lead and it gets a bit scary if I let it, but I have faith that everything is as it should be and so it will be.
I'm keeping this post short because the sun is actually shining and I want to soak up all that this first day of spring has to offer. I hope you will share in our first day of spring and find or remember your own light within and will share with the world. I hope too that the sun is shining wherever you are. Happy Saint Brigid's Day-Happy Spring.
You can read more about Saint Brigid's day by following this link: http://www.kilmurry.ie/newsletter_2011/st_bridgits_day.htm