Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Deep Peace

Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif is CELEBRATE, with a view towards celebrating the arrival of spring, May Day or Walpurgis Night. May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and, as my roots are Irish, I decided to head in that direction.......also in my head is that most beautiful Celtic poem Deep peace by Celtic visionary Fiona MacLeod. I'll give the old noggin a whirl, stop it the third time 'round, and we'll see where I wind up.

Bedeck the lowing cattle
with yellow flowers,
and trot them round the meadow,
then send them  out
to the far summer pastures,
as this soft azure evening
is falling.
All the menfolk are gathering 
in the common,
to light the communal fire.
Let us gather round the flames,
faces flickering in its light,
and ask Fire for protection.

Deep peace, deep peace
is all we are asking.
Deep peace of the spring night,
filled with starshine,
and of tomorrow's golden morn, 
fresh and new-rising.

I shall take my torch 
and light it from the coals, 
carry it safely home
to light my own hearth fire,
snuffed out by the last cold winter wind.

But first,we women-of-the-straggly-hair 
must hoist our skirts up high
and take long-legged leaps
across the flames.
Set your intention. 
If you make it across
the fire without being burned,
you are already blessed.

Deep peace of the first of May to you.
Deep peace of the bee-buzz in the roses.
Deep peace of the skybird's joyous call.
Deep peace. 
In your heart of hearts,
may it be always newly spring.

When I lived in Tofino, at one of our staff trainings at the treatment centre, we were told about the Celtic tradition of putting out the winter fires in all of the houses, and gathering on the common - where each family took home hot coals from the communal fire, to warm their own hearth fires - something we were trying to do in the Centre - send the families home with some living coals to warm their own homes. Sigh. I miss that place.


  1. A nice scene created with your words Sherry.

  2. Sherry, what a fine prayer/song/scene with a place for people and animals and elements to welcome the season. I imagine children cheering and clapping to a fever pitch as the women jump the flames. I fear that I would end up slightly singed, yet blessed just the same.

  3. /Deep peace in your hearts
    may it always newly spring/
    a wonderful and calming mantra to live by but so much easier said than done! Thanks for sharing your work. :)

  4. I can feel the peace in this and your heart.

  5. I found myself reading this with an Irish lilt and hearing violins playing Celtic music in the background. The history is fascinating, and somewhat similar to the Swedish tradition of Valborg when we burn away winter... Absolutely loved this piece, Sherry!

  6. What a delightful poem ,Sherry, filled with the vigour of May Day and the old chants still poring forth.

    But first,we women-of-the-straggly-hair
    must hoist our skirts up high
    and take long-legged leaps
    across the flames....

    Just love this part!

  7. I really enjoyed this, Sherry... especially the 4th stanza.

  8. Enjoyable and informative-creating lovely images
    I shall take my torch
    and light it from the coals' I may add and 'Keep the Peace for All and Spread the Light of Love'-Beautiful thoughts and prayers

  9. I like the hoisting of the skirts as well.I would have been blessed before but now with a crook knee, not a chance1


  10. such a rich and colorful way to welcome May...and
    what a fascinating image of women leaping over fire is...

  11. Thank heavens for straggly haired women..they keep a lot of us many great images here..deep peace and lighting your own torch somehow carry through as more universal treasures..although that cow is very pretty!

  12. A new favorite. Let me join in with the straggly haired women.

  13. That dare and challenge for women everywhere. Role and norm require heavy skirts; and then all that is good demands mastery of the elements while so burdened. Amazing that so many of us make the leap with merely singed edges.

  14. this has the flavor and hum of connection, Sherry ~


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!