Imbolc 1995

by Jill Smith

The snow has gone from most of the land
and the hardness of frost,
but the mountains are still patched with white.
Brighde's figure sleeps,
covered with the lace of her winter veil.

The planets are bright,
the constellations close,
the heavens coming nearer
to join the earth for this transition,
this merging
of end into beginning.

Cold wind, north easterly,
icing against our walking,
warming our cheeks,
blowing in every direction
our clothes and our bones.
Sweep away the dross of winter,
wipe the slate clean,
blow away the fug:
the 'vision in the dark cave,
sit by the fire' time is over.

The stones are deep grey in the twilight:
grandmothers giving birth to themselves
as their own daughters,
showing their
come round again
yet ever-new faces.
Brighde in the centre stone,
Brighde of dark and light,
face with us the rising sun
again.

Clouds cross the sky:
patterns forming, unforming,
continuously changing
to reveal your face
for a moment,
then you spread your cloak of silver-gold over the land, touch the earth with your breath, sweep your mantle round so the soil shall warm and the shafts reach down to the roots that are sleeping; the seeds deep within.

Spread wide,
encompass everything
until at last
your great dark eagle's wings
turn you to Phoenix
and you soar away.

Bless our hearth with your white willow wand Blessed Brighde.

©Jill Smith

 

Jill Smith

Jill Smith

Jill Smith is an artist and writer living in the Western Isles of Scotland.  Known as Jill Bruce she was, in the 70s/early 80s, a celebratory, ceremonial, ritual Performance Artist, who then made ritual journeys through the sacred landscapes of the British Isles before settling in the Hebrides.  For more of her story and work, visit her website.
Jill Smith

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