Visitors to my house might have noticed the straw cross hanging on the wall. Some might have known what it was: a Brigid's Cross.
You might see these in many Irish homes. traditionally they were woven on this day, the feast day of St. Brigid, but the crosses pre-date the Christianized legend of Brigid.
You can read about St. Brigid here. One of the most famous stories about her is the story of her cloak and how she approached the King of Leinster to ask for land to build a convent. She had found the perfect place in County Kildare, with forests, running water and green fields. The King refused, but Brigid went back and said, "I need only enough land on which to spread my cloak."
You can imagine the King's reaction to that. A cloak is not very big. So he laughed and agreed to her request. Brigid instructed four helpers to each take a corner of her cloak and begin walking. The cloak grew and grew until it covered many acres. The King was a man of his word; he gave the land to Brigid, and later converted to Christianity.
My cross hangs near my kitchen, a reminder of our last trip to Ireland and of the Traveler from whom we bought it, high on the side of a mountain on an early morning in September, in Kerry.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.