Finally I realised that what I most wanted was to spend some quiet time with Brigit and her devotees over the days leading up to her festival – regular, repeated, simple, and brief – as an offering and as a way of preparing for Imbolc.
I would like to share my daily devotions with you for the nineteen-plus-one days leading up to and culminating in Lá Fhéile Bhríde, Saint Brigit’s Day, and Imbolc.
Beginning on Thursday, 13 January 2022, I will be streaming via Facebook Live each day at 11:45 A.M. Pacific Standard Time // 7:45 P.M. Irish Standard Time // 6:45 A.M. Australia Time (this last is on the following date). Just come to my profile page:
www.facebook.com/mael.brigde/ at that time. I'll be there as close to that time as tech allows.
The devotional consists of a few short prayers that help to establish a connection with Brigit and with ourselves as we come to sit with her. There are pauses throughout to sit with the ideas expressed and our reactions to them. The poems and pauses are accompanied by gentle attention to our breathing, posture, etc. You are of course invited to do these with me – light your own candle, drink from her well, and so on. The devotional is in A Brigit of Ireland Devotional – Sun Among Stars, if you have it, beginning on page 233, but you won’t need it. It may be best simply to listen and rest, saving your attention for just being there with Brigit. I have added one thing since publication, sipping from her well (in the guise of a mug of water), but otherwise the devotions haven’t changed. And because it is new, that sip (or those three sips) may come at different parts of the practice or not at all, since I am so used to doing without it and am feeling my way with it. So feel free to do it when and if it makes sense to you.
After the recitations, I will sing “I Will Kindle My Fire,” which you can find on my YouTube channel or SoundCloud. If you would like to sing along, you can listen to it ahead of time. (One thing is different in the song. I no longer pronounce Brigit with a hard “g”. If you would like to know why, you can read about it in ‘Part the Second’ of my blog post “Me and My Mouth — A Time for Reflection on Its Use.” Oh, and I sometimes say “her people” instead of “her women.”) Following that I will read one of the poems from A Brigit of Ireland Devotional, a different one each day, as I do normally, both as an offering to Brigit and as a spark to reflection for myself.
The devotions end with a short song, “I Thank You For the River,” which is also on SoundCloud, and the extinguishing of the flame.
On my own, I often use this time for longer meditation and reflection, but in order to make this sustainable for both you and me, I will keep it to around fifteen minutes. You are very welcome to continue your meditations after the streaming ends. You are also welcome to ask questions or make comments in the comments section, which I will look at after I end the session. Unless I am due somewhere else, I will respond to them then.
So that's it.
I will be doing these devotions, regardless, but if this seems like something that can add to your day and your own practice, please come along, either at the time of broadcast or later, and take some time for yourself and Brigit in community.
If you would benefit from a deeper, lengthier contemplation of Brigit, please immerse yourself in “Brigit as a Constant Companion.” It is about an hour and a quarter long, plenty of time to sink into the words, images, and ideas, and bring you in closer communion with her. May you find it restful and renewing.
 I am inspired by West Wind Grove, who sang it that way at the opening of Land, Sea, Sky’s 2019 conference, Revisiting Brighid. In the song, I am referring to the women I tend Brigit’s flame with, Daughters of the Flame. But I am also tending her flame on a global scale with many people who don’t identify as women, so I appreciate the shoutout to them.