Lá ‘le Bríde

And so, we have St. Brigid’s Day. Lá ‘le Bríde. February 1st. We made it!

We got battered and bruised by storms Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, and Gertrude, but you know what? We’re still here and they’re gone. That’s what. And now we’ve Henry but that will pass too.

Now we’ll see the days lengthening. Now we’ll start to feel the touch of Spring, like a girl who knows she’s going to be kissed for the first time, any moment, any moment, any moment… NOW. And summer not far behind. I can already hear the sweet shriek of the Swift in the high bright air.

I see a glint in Jackdaws’ eyes as they coolly watch me cycling by. I was down in Crosshaven early yesterday (sitting outside a café, after a cycle – in January) and a young Rook was hopping around picking up crumbs. He has big plans for this year.

I heard a Blackbird giving it Lowry on College View after I came out of a reading the other night. Tits are feeding well at the bird feeders in our back garden, ignoring that little fucking bully, the Blackcap. I think we’ll have Dunnocks nesting in our hedge again this year. Padraig and I heard the Raven walking past St. Finbarr’s Cathedral the other morning. The Raven! Bring it on.

Today we have Daffodils and Crocuses and Jasmine flowering in the garden and I don’t care whether Brigid was Pagan or Christian or both, or neither. Or whether we call today Imbolc or Lá Fhéile Bríde, Lá ‘le Bríde, Lá Bhríde, Là Fhèill Brìghde, Laa’l Breeshey, or Brigid’s Day. Or Monday. Or whether spring begins today or on the 1st of March.

Whoever you were, or wherever you came from: Girl, you are most welcome.

And I’ve discovered that plum is so good with porridge. You cut it up small and put it in at the last minute so it’s warm, but not roasting, giving a contrast with the hot porridge. And spread the pieces around. And I’ve taken to peppermint tea in the evenings. I’m surprised by each sip.

And I was listening to the radio on Friday morning and I heard Nina Simone singing this:

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me yeah


And I thought: Sister, sing it.


Novelist, short story writer, essayist, sports writer. Crime novel: Whatever it Takes due out 31 July 2020. The First Sunday in September, debut novel, published in 2018. Mercier Press, Stinging Fly, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, The42.ie, Holly Bough, Honest Ulsterman, Quarryman, Silver Apples.

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