The Bride of Spring
Adapted from traditional sources – A story for Imbolg
She had imprisoned a maiden named Bride in Her high mountain home not for any other reason other than she knew that Her son Angus-the-Ever-Young (a Sun God) had fallen in love with this fair girl.
The Cailleach knew that if these two ever married, Her own reign would be over: Angus would be the Summer King and Bride would be the Summer Queen.
Angus was lost, smitten and not to be deterred, He set out to find Bride.
Irish weather in February could be treacherous, though, so Angus borrowed 3 days from February’s brother August to give him time in which to search. With some fine weather Angus could ride and search in deep woods and high mountains.
Brides prison was in the summer sun and her imprisonment was a task set by the Crone to collect fresh wood and return them to her winter fires. To make light of her work she sang a song of spring, a song of hope.
Angus searched high and low, and till on the morning of the third stolen day he heard the sound of a song and a poem of hope. Following the heart song he was led to Bride.
Angus was light and bright with the countenance of the rising sun. She immediately loved the shining young man just as he loved Her. The two of them eloped – running through the words, over the mountains and through the streams.
When she was cold Angus wove her a cloak and into each web and weft of that garment he sowed the seeds of summer flowers. When Bride wore the cloak each seed was nurtured and brought forth the sprouts and the leaves of spring.
The furious Cailleach chased after them riding on her shaggy black goat, sending wave after wave of terrible storms in an attempt to slow them down. With every moment that passed her wintery grip was fading and even the storms lost some of their power. Eventually even Cailleach herself was forced to notice the changes in the land and start to feel the warmth within herself.
She was forced to recognise that the rising tide of life was just too powerful. She cast down her staff at that moment turned into a boulder on the side of the mountain. Here she chose to stay frozen in silica until it was time for the fading light to herald the coming of winter.
Angus returned to Brother August the three days he lent to February, thus ensuring that February would still have the lightest hold on the year. In return he promised that the light of spring and Brides cloak of seeds would bring a special kind of warmth to this the shortest month of the year.
Published: February 5, 2017