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     Personal Stories: A Journey with the Flame

    Personal StoriesCharlotteElaine writes:  

     I began my journey about 10 minutes before sundown. This was to be my first flame tending, and I was very excited. Something about it seemed so ancient, so powerful, and so familiar. I am very new to Brighid, well, new in my awareness of her, somehow I feel she's been with me for much longer. I walked outside with my lantern to the circle of stones built to honor my ancestors, I placed the lantern in the center. I sat for a minute, with my mother, as we watched the sun go down. I said my oath, the genealogy of Brighid, and lit the flame. I felt honored, and blessed to be keeping her ancient flame. 


    We sat outside, my mother and I, watching the moon grow fuller, talking about the gods and our ancestors until the sky became black. I carried the flame back inside. 


    Several hours later it was time for my partner and I to head home. So I loaded the lantern into the car. Can you imagine? I don't recall having ever ridden in a vehicle with an open flame before. Not the safest of ideas I'm sure, but I was determined to nurse this flame for a full day. Trying to get the candle out of the lantern was a different issue all together. As I was trying to avoid being burned by the heat of the metal lantern, or the spilling candle wax I took a breath and just dove in swiftly with no fear, got the candle out and placed it in it's resting place for the night. A pot with water in it. Not very mystical, but there you go. So we sent the kittens into the living room for the night, and fell asleep with the flame aglow.


    Rising in the morning to see the flame still flickering steadily was wonderful. Now, to get the flame back to my parent's house (my office) so I could continue to tend. I passed the flame along to a much smaller candle this time, deciding to forgo the scorching hot lantern idea. I walk slow as I could go to the car, taking care not to let the little flame blow out. Guarding it with my hand, it's temperature rose outside in the Arizona heat. The card ride left my hands covered in red wax as I hurried to get inside. 


    Once I settled her in, she burned brightly throughout the day, I kept looking over my shoulder to keep an eye on the flame. Later in the evening, I got caught up in work and suddenly I noticed the light outside fading. I turned to the candle, ready to say goodbye to this old flame and as I turned I watched it dim into a blue glow and disappear all on its own as the sky became dark. I just sat for a moment in awe. Slightly stunned, yet not surprised. This journey was incredible, and I felt somehow like this soldiering priestess for the day as I dutifully guarded Brighid's flame.

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