St. Brigid’s Day. Birth of Lambs, hope toward spring. February.


Those who celebrate the early days of this month will honor Brigid, in two of her aspects. February 1st marks the start of spring on the Celtic calendar, also known as the festival of Imbolc. An ancient day where we ask for Brigid’s to blessings  

Imbolc, St. Brigid’s day, Candlemas. 
It’s also the Catholic celebration of the Feast of St. Brigid, or Candlemas.

Myth and legends of Brigid, both goddess and saint, overlap.Imbolc is one of the four quarter days on the Celtic calendar, falling halfway between the winter and spring equinoxes. Although the word “imbolc” refers to lactating ewes, Celtic celebrations included lighting fires and candles as a way to welcome the light of spring. In ancient mythology, Brigid is known as the “Fiery Arrow,” goddess of the flame. 

The Ties that Bind…

There are several threads in the story, of course. Not only is Jessamine trying to figure out how to escape this marriage in the early 1900’s, her son, Tennyson, is getting into his own brand of trouble. He is, in the story and in real life, a moonshine bootlegger. He leaves Virginia for a time, and heads out west to Kansas. Problem is, telling all of Tennyson’s story and research would be a big spoiler for the ending…so instead…here are a few things Tennyson had in his possession:


Like I said, he was getting into his own brand of trouble.

Moonshine Poet…the beginnings…

This is how Moonshine Poet happened for me. After a five-year stint in Arizona, I returned home to Virginia and spent several days visiting my grandmother who, then, lived in Floyd county. She and I share the family genealogy bug and she handed me a newly discovered hundred-page deposition. What she found was kept a family secret for three generations, a suit for divorce in 1919.  The deposition vividly described my twice-great grandmother’s charges against her abusive husband. Each family member was deposed, even the children. Suddenly, my deceased relatives became real. 

The depositions were painful to read, even a century later. Yet…the story was there. As I re-read the document, my twice-great grandmother’s words and strength under interrogation leapt from the page.  It was her voice that prompted me to write.

Q: If he would come back and treat you as he did from the 10th - 24th of May 1919?

A: I would not. He was more abusive to the children then...I won’t
 turn my children for no man.

 This was  the story. I won’t turn my children for no man…One woman, who fought for herself and fought even harder for her family.  One woman unwilling to accept the circumstances of her time.



I Have So. Many. Questions.

I have so. many. questions.  I’m trying to see both sides of the re-open school issue. I teach in a rural district where internet access is the biggest hurdle for many of our families. Teaching in-person is much more effective than online. However, I still have questions.

Let’s begin with an overview:

  • Last year, we had to keep our classroom doors closed and locked because of school shooters. Now, it seems we should keep our doors open for ventilation.
  • And now, in Virginia, social distancing *just for schools* has been reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Nowhere else. Just for schools.
  • Then there are the claims that children do not spread Covid…yet I’m reading about an outbreak in Israeli schools, outbreaks in Texas, Oregon, and  other daycare centers….so?


Locked Doors and Spacing Changes:

Why? I don’t know. I guess you can ask the governor  or the Board of Education. But it seems that the 6 foot rule was just…too….difficult. Transportation, classroom set up. I get it. It is difficult. But why should children’s, teacher’s, and staff’s safety have weaker and less stringent rules than say, the grocery store? the coffee shop? hardware stores?

And I guess we don’t have to worry about shooters this year? I mean really, all a kid has to do is go to a Covid party, lick a doorknob, and come in and cough on everyone.

What about those little Covid Carriers?

All of this goes back to the current assertion that children do not spread Covid. We are six months or so into this and top scientists and doctors keep repeating this claim.

Here is a recent article in Vox by Dr. Linas that is in that “children don’t spread this” ballpark.

I have so.many.questions. for Dr. Linas. (Much of this is taken from my Twitter or Facebook discussions with friends). Please define children. What age groups? I teach high school juniors and seniors. They are young adults, 16, 17, and 18 years old.

Then, when scientists look at transmission rates in Europe, what is the covid rate of that entire town or district? Rates are low in schools, but aren’t they low overall in many areas? What differentiates Israel from France? *What happened* in the Israeli school or town? Then with some of the US studies – small sample of 15 families and is *anyone* going to research the daycare centers in TX and OR?

While it is nice to look at Iceland, Germany, and Denmark, and…yeah, that “one study in France,” we need to look at the big picture…Those societies as a whole had lower rates of infection *before* sending kids to school. Right? So comparing the USA to small, European countries doesn’t work.

Finally, I agree 100% with Dr. Linas’s testing recommendations. The problem is, we’re not doing that testing. I would feel a jillion times better if we could all be tested before walking into the building. If testing is not offered at school, how many people are going to pay to have asymptomatic kids tested off-site? And if I get tested off-site this week or next week, that really does not help for when school starts in August.

Carol Burris, award-winning educator and principal makes similar claims in the Washington Post,citing European successes and does help to explain what happened in Israel. Burris writes “…[Israeli] government decided to throw caution to the wind and abandon the safeguards it had put in place. Infections broke out in several schools that had to be shutdown.”


So…kids did get the virus? Right? Either from each other or from staff? Similar with the daycare situations (which I will soapbox upon in another post). And you’re telling me this kids won’t or didn’t bring it home to mom or dad, to grandma or grandpa? I’m just trying to understand the science here.

What NOT to Accept

“If you find your here and now intolerable…you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.” Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now

I write about acceptance for many situations but these are the things NOT to accept. Ever.

– Physical Abuse
-Verbal Abuse
-Emotional Abuse

The National Domestic Violence hotline – 1−800−799−7233

Recommended Reading:

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

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