A Story of Brigid
By Eva Greenslade
The frosts lay heavy on the ground, from the long winter, freezing the seeds of life sleeping within the earth's womb.
The crone emerges from her cave a final time, she sits by the fire,
her old bones creaking as she leans forward to light her fire one last time. With a deep breath she steps forward into the blazing flame heeding the call of the light of rebirth. The flames consume her, searing away her withered flesh leaving only the fresh sunkissed skin of a maiden. She emerges from the conflagration as she is reborn.
Long copper hair flows around her shoulders, eyes of emerald green take in the waking world around her.
A breeze picks up, the sun shines brighter. A swan appears at her side. Its wings stretch out around her shoulders embracing her, as it does a cloak of long white feathers begins to shroud her. The swan takes flight and together they walk the land, bringing new life, and rebirth in their wake.
This is Bridget, the healer, the maiden, the midwife of life, the fire keeper of the hearth.
Revitalised she walks over the rugged hills, the swan flying gracefully beside her, a protector, familiar, and giver of strength. With each step, the earth warms beneath hand the seeds quicken in the belly of the earth's womb.
She arrives at a place where earth meets sky at the top of a hill. She removes her cloak of swan feathers and lays it upon the ground, the cloak grows and stretches, encompassing the entire hill. Beneath the cloak a temple forms atop the hill. Once more she takes up her cloak and rests it upon her shoulders.
Stepping forwards towards her temple, now fully formed upon the hill, overlooking the beautiful landscape of emerald green hills, and oak trees. As she approaches the vast oaken door swings wide and nineteen priestesses clad in white emerge offering gifts for the newly reborn goddess to honour her rebirth and blessing to the land.
Bridget receives their gifts with grace and blesses each in turn. Stepping beyond the threshold she enters her temple.
Within lies a great hall, shrouded in darkness, carved pillars form a ring surrounding a central alter upon which sits a bowl of bronze, engraved with oak leaves, on a trunk of twisted oak. Our lady approaches the bowl in the centre, flanked by her priestesses. Reaching out her pale hand, raising it palm up, she closes her fingers. When she reopens her hand a single bright but tiny spark rests upon her palm. She places the spark in the bowl which fickers at first and then ignites with golden flame, flooding the temple with light, banishing the darkness, and warming the heart of the priestesses.
She steps back and her priestesses form a circle around her sacred flame taking up their role of tending the eternal flame.
Bridget turns back to the open portal, still open, light pouring through from outside the temple. Light of foot she steps back out into the daylight, and meets her swan companion once more.
Together they merge as one and take to the air, becoming one with the breath of the wind, blessing the land in her wake.