I keep vigil…

One of the first Pagan bloggers I ever followed online is Teo Bishop, a solitary Druid and prolific writer. Recently, Bishop wrote about creating community poetry for use in liturgy based on the starting line, “I keep vigil to the fire in my heart” (see current contributions from other writers via this post: We Keep Vigil: Crowdsourced Poetry). Bishop started this experiment last year during Imbolc, when he composed a spontaneous poem to Brigid. As someone who frequently experiences spontaneous poetry in the sacred spot in the woods behind my house, an experience I refer to as theapoetics, I was instantly captivated by this whole keeping vigil thing. Imbolc has a natural connection to the cycle of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding and the fire in my own heart burns brightly for these pivotal life experiences. So, I went down to the woods, opened my mouth and this is what emerged…

I keep vigil
to the fire
in my heart.

I keep vigil
to the women
of the world

women’s voices
women’s stories
women’s lives

I keep vigil for the birthing women of the planet
whether she gives birth
at 5 weeks, 12 weeks,
15 weeks, 20 weeks
or 42 weeks

I keep vigil for the mothers
who cry over tiny bodies
of their babies
I keep vigil to
the bright hot spirit
of the newborn babies
that greet the world
with eyes wide open

I keep vigil for the woman
who cries in the night
I keep vigil for the woman
who births with joy and exultation
I keep vigil for the woman
who struggles and suffers in birth

I keep vigil to the midwives
and the women who serve each other
midwife means loves women

I keep vigil to
the breastfeeding women
of the world
and I keep vigil to the mother
whose heart was broken
in trying to nurse her baby

I keep vigil for the mothers who laugh
and the mothers who cry
the mothers who sing
and the mothers who moan
the mothers who need
and the mother give
the mothers who triumph
and the mothers who “fail”

I keep vigil for the mothers
who try again

I keep vigil for the mothers
who want more children
and who cannot have them
and I keep vigil for the mothers
who have more children
than they truly want

I keep vigil for the women
who pull their sweet, warm, slippery babies
up to grateful hearts and breasts following birth
and I keep vigil for the women
who let tiny bodies slip through their own
never to take a breath of life

I keep vigil for the women
snuggling nose to nose with their children
hugging
laughing
braiding hair
playing
reading
dancing
cooking
and I keep vigil
to the mothers driving,
transporting,
shuttling,
attending lessons,
taking movies and pictures
losing sleep at night

I keep vigil
for the mothers of the world
I keep vigil
for the women of the world

I keep vigil
to the fire
in my heart.

1/28/2013

What comes to your mind when you think about keeping vigil? This Imbolc, what fire in your heart are you tending? What burns brightly in your spirit? To what are you keeping vigil?

Molly

About Priestess Molly

Molly is a priestess, writer, birth educator, and activist who lives with her husband and children in the midwest. She is a breastfeeding counselor, a professor of human services, and doctoral student in women’s spirituality at Ocean Seminary College. Molly and her husband co-create goddess jewelry and birth art at Brigid’s Grove: http://brigidsgrove.com and she blogs about theapoetics, ecopsychology, and the Goddess at http://goddesspriestess.com.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/confessionsofapagansoccermom/ Kris Bradley

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

    • Sarah Whedon

      Inspired, isn’t she? And inspiring!

  • Pingback: I keep vigil… | Theapoetics


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