Imbolc

St. Brigid’s Day

I am not a religious person.  I wouldn’t put myself in that odd “spiritual, but not religious” group.  I guess, I just don’t faith in anything anymore.  But today is St Brigid’s Day.  For the Celts this was also known as Imbolc, and for some reason, the first day of spring.  Seems a bit early for spring to me.  I guess they were wishing for spring like weather.

Brigid was, before the early Roman Christians subverted her into a saint, worshiped as a goddess by the Celtic people.  I’m not going to get into the history of Brigid, either as a goddess or a Christian saint.  But from what I’ve read, she must have enjoyed her beer.  There is a wonderful story of how she turned water into beer.  And for me personally, that’s much better than turning anything into wine.  The only thing better would have been turning the water into a nice malt whisky.  But that’s not how the story goes.

The story goes that one day, while working in a leper colony, she discovered to her horror that they had run out of beer.

It’s important to understand that in those times, centuries ago, beer was consumed on a daily basis as a source of hydration and nourishment.

In any case, back in those times many of the water sources close to villages and towns were often polluted to the point where consumption would likely result in illness or, worse still, death.

Alcohol offered an (almost) germ free alternative and was almost as good as any meal of the era.

So, to be faced with a beer drought was nothing short of disastrous.

Not that it mattered all that much to St Brigid.

Channeling a little divine intervention, she answered the prayers of the thirsty lepers under her charge by turning the water they used to bathe into not just any beer, but a genuinely brilliant beer that was enjoyed by one and all.

Her water-based exploits don’t end there either.

Another part of the legend says St Brigid also succeeded in turning dirty bathwater into beer for the clerics visiting the leper colony where she was based.

There’s even a tale of her supplying some eighteen churches with enough beer to last from Holy Thursday through to the end of Easter despite only having one barrel to her name.

Whether fact or fiction, one thing appears undeniable: St Brigid liked beer.

In any case, her legend lives on through St Brigid’s Day and literature like the famous 10th century poem that speaks of her efforts in giving “a lake of beer to God.” Amen to that.

https://www.irishpost.com/news/story-st-brigid-turned-bathwater-beer-178498

Beat that (Saint) Patrick.

And here’s the poem the above post mentioned.  I would also like to point out that wifey posted this poem many years ago over on FarceBook, I mean Facebook, and a shit storm followed.  Several folks of a much more conservative religious view than ours took much umbrage at the mention of beer and god in the same article.

It would appear that these folks didn’t seem to understand that in the 10th century or so, when the poem is said to have written, the water wasn’t fit to drink as the post quoted above mentions.  Some folks just don’t get it.  </sigh>

 I'd like to give a lake of beer to God.
 I'd love the heavenly
 Host to be tippling there
 For all eternity.
  
 I'd love the men of Heaven to live with me,
 To dance and sing.
 If they wanted, I'd put at their disposal
 Vats of suffering.
  
 White cups of love I'd give them
 With a heart and a half;
 Sweet pitchers of mercy I'd offer
 To every man.
  
 I'd make Heaven a cheerful spot
 Because the happy heart is true.
 I'd make the men contented for their own sake.
 I'd like Jesus to love me too.
  
 I'd like the people of heaven to gather
 From all the parishes around.
 I'd give a special welcome to the women,
 The three Mary’s of great renown.
  
 I'd sit with the men, the women and God
 There by the lake of beer.
 We'd be drinking good health forever
 And every drop would be a prayer.

A blessed Imbolc to everyone!

Peace,
B

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