The theme of Feile Bride this year was “Kindling flames of Hope”. Ireland and indeed Europe’s continuing economic crisis has left many people jobless and fearful of the future. The Northern Hemisphere also experienced one of its harshest winters in years while in the Southern Hemisphere floods caused many people to leave their homes. Feile Bride is celebrated at the beginning of spring and the period of the rebirth of nature after the long winter. New life and fresh beginnings are now distinct possibilities. It can be a time when new ways of hope can be given a new awareness and new energy. The Feile Programme provided something for everyone and many people participated in the various events.
Weaving Workshop, January 30th 2011
Margaret Walsh and Brenda Kindregan facilitated the opening workshop on the customs and traditions of Brigid and the participants had the opportunity to weave St. Brigid’s cross.
Launch of Sli Bhride, February 1st 2011
The Sli na Slainte Routes ( Health walks) “Sli Bhride” (Brigid’s way) and “The Hundred Acres” were launched during Feile Bride. The Sli na Slainte routes are the initiative of the Irish Heart Foundation in association
with Kildare Sports Partnership and Kildare County Council. When launching the Sli Phil spoke of the importance of the community of life around us. “Today as we walk we will be aware of the new life that is already bursting forth from the earth. Our attention will be drawn to the community of life that surrounds us as we walk, and perhaps is watching us as we pass by, asking only that we respect the habitat in which they live, so that all of us can enjoy this part of planet earth that is our home for a while.” Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Foundation drew the walkers attention to the wonder of the biodiversity people encountered on their walk.
“Awakening New Ways of Hope”
In this workshop the Solas Bhride Team explored the Legends of the Harp. In her interpretation of the Legend Brenda Kindregan reflected on how the legend can speak to us today. “Like the chieftain in the story, we need to allow ourselves and one another to have a “change of heart.” Maybe we need to look with the love of compassion to enable and to bless. Maybe we need to recognise the music in all people no matter who they may be. The universe is calling us to break the silence and speak out and act on its behalf as a species among other species. Thomas Berry said “we no longer hear the voices of the rivers, the mountains, or the sea.. What is needed on our part is the capacity for listening to what the earth is telling us.” Maybe today this legend asks us to listen to the music of what happens.