Brighid I call you
Brighid I beg you
Wake up what’s lost
Find what’s asleep
Let the fire rage deep.
Tomorrow is Autumn Equinox, and Group Flamekeeping. I realized tonight that I missed my flamekeeping shift on the 20th, but I don’t think it missed me. I went to bed at 3pm after being up for over 20 hours, working on a publishing order that had to go out. I woke up after six hours to find that a friend who I’d not heard from in over a month was in chat again! I got to talk to hir for a while, and after sie went off to bed, I felt exceptionally tired again, and slept at 2am, until 1pm.
So even though my human brain severely dropped the ball, Brighid didn’t drop me. And apparently now She’s making up for lost time by putting poetry and prayers in my head.
Every year on Labour Day weekend I’m at an event called Pirates and Faeries. I first went three years ago, and it’s where I met my now-fiancé. The event is basically a private party where people dress up as pirates, faeries, and various other romanticized fantasy creatures, and run around having a generally good and mostly pagan time.
This year my Cill shift happened to fall on the Saturday night of the event, so I kept the flame as best I could while in that environment. (And for once, Brighid didn’t slip me a spiritual sleeping pill, which is nice, because I stay up all night at PnF.)
We weren’t allowed candles in the cabin, and I don’t really have the skills to build up the sacred fire myself. So I found a makeshift way of marking the start of my shift: I broke an orange glowstick and said my start-of-shift chant. I then wore the glowstick around my wrist until sunset the next evening.
Brighid didn’t seem to mind at all. (I did manage to get some editing of my book done during my shift, so I’m sure that helped.)
My lastest shift for Brighid was on the 3rd. Lit my candle at 4pm, when the sun went down. By 7 I was dead tired — couldn’t stop yawning, could barely keep my eyes open. Eventually bowed to the inevitable and went to sleep.
2013, so far, has been a rough year for me. When things are especially tough She tends to slip me a sleeping pill on my shift nights. There have been shift nights where I’ve conked out without even remembering to light a candle, say my prayer, acknowledge shift start time at all. I sleep several hours and then wake up feeling refreshed and wondering what the hell just happened.
It’s almost like a divine alien abduction.
I used to feel guilty when this happened, but eventually I came to accept it. She’s a goddess of, among many other things, healing. Her followers have to take care of themselves, too, and if we won’t, She will make sure we do. I’ve realized, over the past 3 years, that yes, She wants me to do Her work, and it is hard work — but She also wants me as whole as can be, and will not let me work myself to death.
So on shift nights when I start yawning very early, I go to bed as soon as I’m able and enjoy the rest She brings me. It’s few and far between that I have a good night’s sleep, after all.