In Ireland February 1st La Feile Bhride( Brigid’s day ) traditionally marks the beginning of Springtime. This year Brigid’s Day arrived on the wings of Storm Brigid, with lashing rain and gale force winds, blew us into a legendary beginning of spring! The storm coincided with the “celebration of Brigid of Faughart Festival, now in its 7th year, in Dundalk Faughart and Ravensdale Co. Louth. www.brigidoffaughart.ie
Faughart Co. Louth is traditionally considered to be the birthplace of Brigid, Celtic Christian saint, who later founded the wonderful double monastery in Kildare town . However the storm did not deter the many people who made their way through floods and wild weather to be at Faughart on that special day! As is often the case in Ireland the weather changes rapidly and on Feb 2nd we walked our 5mile ( 8 km )pilgrimage from Dundalk via Fatima Toberona and Kilcurry to Faughart shrine in balmy sunshine. Storm Brigid felt like a baptism and cleansing of winter energy which would in time allow each of us to enter into Springtime with its energy of new possibilities, born out of that playful energy that can be felt in springtime.. During the weekend February 14th -16th, I facilitated a retreat called “Awakening to springtime” in the Galilee retreat Centre in Arnprior Ontario Canada with 21 women. Outside there was little sign of springtime an s the land lay dormant under a thick blanket of snow! Inside however the hearts and minds of all gathered were certainly awakening to the spring within themselves as they said farewell to the winter energy of the Cailleach and welcomed Brigid’s energy to breathe life into the mount of dead winter wherever it still lingered within them.. During the retreat we experienced much joy and playfulness together and we held the vision that this would unfold into the many new creations uniquely born out of the heartfelt and soulful passion of each person gathered. For the past week I have enjoyed the snow-covered landscape of Vermont while resting reading and reflecting in the beautiful Immanuel Retreat Centre in Bellows Falls Vermont. While there I re-read Eckhart Tolle’s masterpiece “The power of Now “and realized that this is probably one of the most important books that I have read in the past 10 years. As I spent time with this book , I became acutely aware of the importance of not merely reading this book but of the need in me to commit myself to the practises it offers. For some time now I have a sense that 2014 may be the year in which a big shift in human consciousness may take place. Having re-read Eckhart Tolle’s book I know that this will only happen as each of us, you and I, make the decision to become more conscious of our own inner environment. Eckhart says “ If you get it right on the inside the outside will fall into place “ p 64 This may indeed be a challenging statement for us who are more at ease with “Fixing “ the outside. I also know that this is an important part of the journey into greater consciousness and freedom at this time in our human evolution.
So I wish you much joy and playfulness and many blessings as the year unfolds and the light increases! May it light your way towards Joy and peace in your heart and in the world
Le Beannachtai Dolores
Feb 22nd 2014