by Ruth Bidgood
We call her now to walk on the riverbank,
Brigid of Ireland, Ffraed of Wales, the Saint, the golden one,
who breaks the ice, dipping first one hand, then two hands,
freeing the river to flow into time of seed,
time of ripening, time of harvest.
We greet her from her churches and her wells,
from the cold sea-coast and the doorsteps of hill farms,
with the immemorial cry,
‘Ffraed is come! Ffraed is welcome!’
We call you, saint of fire,
Protectress of the peat-stack,
meet us where we kneel on the hearth.
Give kind warmth of fire
to us and our kin,
like the outstretched hands of a mother
taking our hands,
like her arms sheltering us.
Be in the midst of the house,
be the mothering fire
in the midst of the house.
from The Threshold of Light: Prayers & Praises from the Celtic Tradition, ed. by A.M. Allchin & Esther de Waal (1986).