Lay me down upon your cloak -
Swaddle me. Sing to me
your secrets of always enough.
Lay me down upon your cloak -
Wrap me snug. Tell me a story.
The miracle of always enough
Lay me down upon your cloak-
Rock me. Gently now lay me
down in the source of always enough
© Bee Smith, 2009. All rights reserved.
This poem appears in an anthology of writing on Brigit published by Goddess Ink. Editted by the late Patricia Monaghan and Michael McDermott Brigit: Sun of Womanhood offers a holistic view of Ireland’s matron goddess and saint.
The prayer poem is based on the tale that St. Brigit asked a noble of Leinster for land to build her abbey. He laughed because it was very good land and he would be foolish to give it away. She then said, “Sir, if you would promise to give me only the land that my cloak will cover I would be satisfied.” He assented. Four of her nuns each took one corner of her cloak and walked east, south, west and north. Her cloak expanded and expanded and expanded as acre upon acre was covered with her cloak. In abject terror the lord ordered them to stop. They did. But the land that was covered by Brigit’s Mantle was deeded to her as the lord was a man of his word. And it was enough for her to establish her abbey Cill Dara (Cell of Oak) in what is modern day Kildare.
May you always know the source of always enough.
Rock and Roll and lots of soul was going on in Neolithic Ireland. In my A-Z of Things to See in Ireland I want to draw your attention to our very talented ancestors, who not only hauled rocks several tons weight to create tombs, they found spare time for creative artistic pursuits. In this A-Z of Things to See in Ireland, R stands for Rock Art.
The triple symbol or triskele is one of the most famous pieces of rock art at Newgrange in County Meath. However, if you visit any of Ireland’s Ancient Sites and look closely you are likely to see work that is not done by Mother Nature. The Neolithic period in Ireland ranged from 4,500 BCE to 2,500BCE. During that period the human inhabitants moved from a hunter gather lifestyle to one where blow ins from Europe introduced domestic animals and farming. By the end of the period the early Irish were making metal implements. But this burst of creativity may be even early for the megaliths – the court tombs and portal tombs – also known as dolmens were made by Mesolithic Irish. The earliest humans had the impulse not only to bury their dead in a respectful, even reverent way, they already carried the creativity gene to decorate or adorn.
Strolling around the Cavan Burren forests, it continues to amaze how our earliest ancestor urge was to ritualise the end of life and to also create object. This urge to make is one of the markers for being human. The geologists of Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark have visited the Cavan Burren to view the megaliths in the 200 acre site. Over time they have confirmed that many of the indentations on the rocks are not the work of ice sheets or weather but human beings. The rocks are what are known as glacial erratics left behind as ice sheets slid there way across the earth’s crust and left in their wake.
This photo is of a boulder tomb on the Cavan Burren with evidence of rock carvings. Archaelogical investigations have been checking when the sun aligns to light up the chamber box in the tomb. While many tombs are aligned to sunrise at either winter or summer solstice this tomb is aligned to sunrise at Bealtaine, the May Day of prehistoric Ireland.
Here’s another image of some rock art discovered while wandering around the megaliths on the Cavan Burren. What is clear is that careful attention to all aspects of the rocks will reveal how our ancient ancestors, using only flint tools, were evolving towards the Michelangelo moment when artist and art are fused.