February

Sunlight on Water

There have been some beautiful bright days recently. I sat by the Findhorn River and watched the light dance on the water and listened to the birds singing as the sun warmed my knees. It was a brief but much needed respite from the chaos reigning in our studio at the moment. We are having a huge change around and there are builders at work removing one wall and making another. We have had to pack EVERYTHING from one room into the other so that dust and grit doesn’t get into all our baskets of fibre…

Last week I had a lovely sunny day for my day off so I went for a beautiful ramble through the woods out the back of the house and gathered rushes to make something special…
At the beginning  of February is St Bride’s Day, traditionally celebrated on the 1st of Feb. It’s an old Highland and Irish festival with strong Celtic Christian/Pagan roots. I have only been aware of it since I moved to this area as it is celebrated in the Findhorn Foundation.

 It was like coming home to someone I knew to find the Goddess/Saint Bride or Bridget, and her celebration has been an important part of my year ever since. On the Western Isles one of the old, old traditions was to make a Brideag (Little Bridget), a doll-like figure of straw.

Bride’s Niche

Over on the East and in the present day I was introduced to the Brideag (sounds like Bree-og) as a guardian figure made of green rushes and wrapped in a cloth. Blue is sacred to Bride and I use a blue silk scarf that belonged to my beloved Granny.

Anyhow, what has all this got to do with creativity? Other than the obvious fact that I spend a blissful hour or two gathering and plating rushes in a very creative style!  I find that time spent doing a gentle yearly ritual, like this re-creation of the Little Bride, is exceedingly nurturing. It anchors me to the year in a very natural way and I find such obscure festivals easier to relate to than more commercialised ones like Christmas or Valentine’s day. This year I missed the story telling and candle-lit festivities in the Universal Hall at Findhorn , I even missed the day itself as I was so busy with changing the studio round that I FORGOT that it was St Bride’s Day! For me this is almost like forgetting that it’s Christmas! When I remembered, a few days later, I also remembered that all the old Celtic festivals were originally anchored not to a specific date but rather to the tides of the natural world. The Snowdrops were only just coming out in my garden, so hay! it’s the right time to celebrate!

I leave you with a snippet of sound and sight from my interlude by the Findhorn river.

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