Cover to Cover: Brigid, Oaks, Hollies and a Blackbird

In my research for Bridging the Gap, I’ve used various sources such as an academic website on the origins of the Celtic goddess Brigid with an emphasis on symbols and mythology, a Druidry website and various others, many of which make the link between Brigid the pagan deity and the Christian St Brigid.  I’ve also used my personal journal. Some of my sources are referred to at the end of this article.

I’ve done a little research on the woods that I’ve spent many a contemplative hour in – a place that holds a special place in my heart, and that, to me, has a magical feel.  It’s a rare, unmanaged area, and has a certain quality about it.  There are trees there in unusual formations, possibly planted by a long-ago previous land owner/ caretaker, and also many rare, large, ancient hollies as well as oaks.

Picking up the thread of my last two blog entries on Bridging the Gap, I was at the time playing, on a small scale, with ideas and materials. Since then, I’ve been collecting fallen wood with the intention of making a structure/ enclosure that relates to Brigid and her cell of oak as referred to in the Luka Bloom song The Shape of Love to Come.

I’ve lately been doing quite a bit of journaling, and one of my recent entries recounts a time from a short while ago when I was working on my piece for Bridging the Gap.  I’m now working on a human-scale structure, and the stage I’m at is best done in the garden rather than my small studio.

My journal entry reads:

“When I was outside sorting my wood, a blackbird visited twice.  Perched only about two feet away from me on the stick I’d decided as my first, it then hopped clockwise around the arrangement, and around me, landing on each stick in turn, finishing with the twelfth, then flying off.  A few minutes later, it returned to repeat the whole thing, this time missing out some of the sticks, but still almost encircling me again in its hopping pattern!”

Sitting down to write this article and still in the process of planning where this piece of writing for the blog was to go next, I put some music on, choosing a random playlist.  As I was writing the paragraph above, another extraordinary thing happened: the song playing just as I was writing about the blackbird mentions a blackbird taking flight from a birch tree.  I’m using holly and oak rather than birch, but it still feels very prescient!  Perhaps I have the blackbird’s approval, so I’ll carry on with my structure and see what continues to evolve …


My personal journal

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