This is my first official flametending, though I am a hobbyist blacksmith and my smithy has been dedicated to Brigid almost since I first worked hot metal with a hammer in 2002. A friend brought her to my attention about a year after I started smithing and it felt very natural to invite Brigid to join me my work. I considered every lighting of the forge to be a tending of her flame, and I even used a candle contagioned with the Kildare flame to light the burner a few times.
I'm currently in graduate school studying public history (I feel it's her influence as a giver of words) and the job I left to pursue my advanced degree was in the medical billing field. I also find myself in the frequently uncomfortable space of impromptu counselor for people who feel the need to vent. I consider every minute of both of those to be a sacrifice to her healer aspect-- I really didn't enjoy appealing insurance denials, and it's awkward at best to have perfect strangers just start rattling off their problems as if I have answers. But I genuinely feel it was the tradeoff for the gifts she'd given me.
As I'm away from my wife, home and smithy I feel I need to stay connected to Brigid and taking the mantle of a flametender seemed like the obvious thing to do. I found the Ord several years ago and considered myself a sort of auxiliary member, knowing that I would know when to take the plunge. Yesterday I decided out of the blue to take another look at the site, and felt compelled to join a Cill. I chose cedar because it appears fairly active and the cedar is an important tree in my native western Washington. I can't say I was surprised to find out that my tending duties started immediately. As I recently switched my office hours away from Tuesdays (allowing me to write my weekly paper, during which I frequently invoke her name) I will be able to tend the flame for the duration of my first watch-- I'm grateful for the timing.
May her light shine on us all, bringing inspiration and warmth.