Groundhog Day is more than shadows, although preposterous darkness is usually back there in the cave where the fat, little creature is yanked out of by the Punxatawney mayor. Blessings on their fuzzy heads: Mayor with top hat and rodent with button nose. 🙂
On this bright mid-winter day, February 2, we also celebrate the Irish saint, Brigid, patroness and muse of poetry, keeper of bonfires, and protector of white, red-eared cows. Somehow Brigid magically rolls back the cold stones January holds at the nape of our necks. Blessings and thanks for her warm, kind heart. She and St. Patrick were friends.
My connection to St. Brigid is my love of poetry, the celebration of the visual return of the earth’s light on this day, and the fact that Brigid was the name of my Irish ancestor, the matriarch who set sail in April 1864 from the port of Cashel and landed two months later in America.
That’s how the Irish side of my family (the O’Briens) arrived in Providence, Rhode Island. Brigid and two of her sons — Patrick and J.J. — set their fearless feet down on the dock at Providence harbor.
I wonder what type of ocean-going vessel could possibly take two months to cross the Atlantic? Surely, the Saint herself kept watch over them.
And as I write a poem today, Brigid can watch over me too.