The Littlest Druid pushed through the snowy afternoon. She needed to be at the next small village to sing at their Solstice celebration and she was afraid she wouldn’t make it. It didn’t snow often here but when it did it could quickly get very deep. She was cold and she was wet and she smelled like a wet sheep.
Her raven had flown ahead a long time ago and she was feeling very alone. She wished she was warm and safe in her village waiting for the Solstice in the barrow (Brú na Bhoinne) waiting for the Sun to return. Being a Bard was way harder than she thought. She had mediated a village disagreement that was just plain silly at her last village. She had sung every song at about the Fae at another one, they hadn’t wanted to hear anything else.
The Sun had disappeared a few hours ago and she was now following the stars to the next village. She was homesick and she was tired of the dark and she was missing Beith and the Head Druid who was so kind to her and she was feeling very alone in the dark with just her pack and her staff and musical instruments for company.
All the sheep and cows had been gathered into the crofts and the only animals she had seen were a few deer. There was no one to talk to out here.
She started to hum a rather sad tune that had begun haunting her several hours ago. It was started to cloud over and she was afraid it would begin to snow again, she gave a huge sigh.
“Oh, Aisling, that was a particularly big one,” a soft voice said behind her.
Aisling almost levitated out of her boots. She turned and saw a familiar green mantle. “Brighid!” she shrieked. She had a very strong impulse to hug her favourite goddess. She stopped. One does not hug goddesses particularly when one is wet and cold and stinking of sheep.
Brighid grabbed her around the shoulders and gave her the hug she’d wanted to give her. Suddenly she was warm and dry and a lot more comfortable. Her raven came flying back and landed on Brighid’s other shoulder.
“I love that you are here out in the middle of all this snow and I thank you for the warmth but why are you way out here?” Aisling asked bravely.
“You” said Brighid. “Bards should bring hope and cheer at Solstice to welcome the flame and the birth of the Sun. You are getting close to the village and they want you to celebrate with them. You are a light for their Solstice.”
“I don’t feel like a light right at the moment, at all.” She said rather emphatically.
“I know, Aisling, I know. That’s why I’m here. You can see the village lights shining across the snow? This village really needs you to be their light in the dark. There were a lot of deaths near Samhain and they have been very sad and in a dark, dark place. No Bard or Druid has been here for many months. You will be the first in a long time.”
“How can I be a light when all I want to do go home and be with my people? Until you came I was cold and miserable and very stinky”
“Aisling, look around you and what do you see?” As they had been walking the sky had cleared and stars shown.
“I see the stars, oh so many bright stars. I see tall trees and oh! There are some rabbits under the trees. And a deer and there’s an owl in that tree ahead.”
“Were you alone?” asked Brighid raising an eyebrow.
“Nooo,” replied Aisling.”I was a little blindered, wasn’t I?”
“We all get that way sometimes.” Brighid said thoughtfully.
“Even you?” Aisling asked
“Even me.” nodded Brighid.
“It’s hard to look for the good in the world. It’s hard to look for beauty and for the love in the world when all looks dark.” said Brighid.
“Your job, though, is to remind people there is good in the world even at the darkest of times and hours. The Sun always returns at the darkest hour and so does hope. There is always life in death and light in dark and a spark of hope if you know where to look. You just have to remember to look.” Brighid pointed to a woodpecker with his bright red head diving onto a tree branch. A full moon had risen as they were walking and it was very, very still.
Beautiful lights gleamed across the snow in welcome. Aisling felt calm and ready to face this sad village. She strode forward and Brighid faded away.
She was ready to be the light.