"no snowdrops?" by Ranjit Bhatnagar on Flickr

Brigid’s hands, underneath

I realize it’s been a few weeks since I posted here. I got bogged down in work, including some travel, and then it started feeling like I had to come back with some big, crazy, summative thing. Luckily I remembered my friend Erika’s gentle reminder on a similar occasion: “you need time to be a person, too.” So let’s consider the past few weeks some personal fallow time. It is in fact winter, the time of the sleeping earth! But as February and Brigid’s feast of Imbolc approach, I feel life coming back to my writing, and I’m most grateful.

[As I was searching for an appropriate header image, I found the one you see above. It’s a simple, pleasant image, but the real key is the creator’s description on Flickr, where he refers to a flower associated with Brigid: “Where are the snowdrops? Underneath.” Just so.]

The Goddess has been in my thoughts a good deal lately, in fact, not merely because of the coming feast. Recently an old friend shared with our circle a number of traumas that he’s experienced in the past two years, which I hadn’t been aware of. I was horrified to know a friend had been hurt in that way, and ashamed that I’d been so out of touch that I had no idea. I hope to be a better friend — a better source of support and love — and I’ll try of my own strength, of course. But I also asked Brigid’s help. Not only that She enfold him in peace and healing, though of course I hope that for him. But also I asked Her, “Aid me! Let me be your hands in the world, let me spread your healing.” It was a fervent prayer and offering.

A few nights ago I was chatting online with a man I sing with, who had recently come out and experienced awful reactions from friends, a general sundering from the life he’d led. He and I chatted for a long time, and I think by the end he felt in some small measure better than he had when we started. (I very much hope he did.) I wasn’t thinking at all about my work in druidry during the conversation, but afterward it occurred to me: this is, in a very real way, the work of Brigid in the world. Healing isn’t only physical, only professional — not to discount the vital work medical professional do to treat the sick, not at all. But counselors will often ask patients whether they have a support network they can lean on, and doctors can’t be at the bedside perpetually. Sometimes another vital element of healing is an outstretched hand, and while I would hold out my hand regardless, gods or no, I still hope to honor Brigid in moving through the world with her blessing.

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2 thoughts on “Brigid’s hands, underneath

  1. A lot of that you say here I think is why Brigid, and therefore Imbolc, seem so familiar to me. I was especially struck by the phrase “be your hands in the world” which is also used in some of the more resonant Christians passages. I have often felt far more connected to the concept of Holy Spirit than I am to the other parts of the Christian trinity. I can viscerally understand the spirit, where the others are so much ideology. I have long been a homemaker, a mother (since before I was a mother), and, in waxing and waning, a healer. Metaphysically, I am drawn to things that are Brigid’s realm.
    Which I suppose is to say that I really ought to come to Imbolc this week.

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    1. I have absolutely no doubt that I lifted that from some part of my Christian upbringing 🙂 It aligns so clearly with my understanding of deep devotion to a god/dess: to honor them, yes, but by service and works in addition to mere praise.

      And you should come to Imbolc! I’d offer a ride, but I’m coming straight from the rite to a downtown rehearsal.

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