'When we begin to believe something new, we will see something new.' ~Martina Lehane Sheehan
Today Feb 1st and we celebrate St Brigid's Day. In the Celtic tradition it is the official start of spring and meteorologically we are told it starts on March 1st. On St Brigid's day we begin to celebrate the season of newness. Already we are aware of increasing light each day. On December 21st - the shortest day of the year - we had 7 hours and 44 minutes of daylight. On February 1st we have 9 hours and 6 minutes of daylight in the south of Ireland. That is a significant increase. Yes we can still get very cold weather at this time of year, but winter has lost its firm determined hold. We can now look forward in hope and particularly during this Covid pandemic.
St Brigid is famous for her 'St Brigid's Cross'. Using rushes she wove them all into a cross, to remind us that all the different strands of our lives are connected. They are connected not by chance but by the gentle presence of God in our lives. Brigid gathers our rushes of sorrow and blessings, of happiness and pain, tears and laughter, kindness and caring, of voluntary groups and organisations, of families, relations and friends, of schools and hospitals, of work, sport and recreation and all the little things we do with faith, hope and love. Brigid weaves them all with loving hands into something richer and more beautiful. For her God is always at the centre of everything we do, not just the good parts but simply everything.
In her book called 'Surprised By Fire', Martina Lehane Sheehan talks beautifully about the divine spark that is within each person. It connects in so well with the feast day of St. Brigid. This divine spark can fuel our own happiness and can brighten the lives of those around us. Martina says that once we embark on the journey of finding our flame, life can no longer be seen as a mere haphazard or random string of lucky or unlucky events. Because of the divine spark, within each person great things can begin to happen or unfold. The divine spark can lie dormant or it can be really active. St Brigid's Day invites us to let it become alive, to let it energise and give us hope.