Do you know about Brigid’s cross? We have one in our living room. Our daughter made it when she studied in Ireland a couple of years ago and presented it to us as a Christmas gift. While it was a thoughtful gift, I suspect it was more for her than for us. Brigid’s cross, you see, is said to protect the home from fire. When our daughter was four years old, she began to worry about home fires.
|Note: the rubber bands are not traditional fastenings!|
It was Halloween. We had friends with a daughter the same age who lived on a rural road outside town. They brought their little girl to our house to go trick or treating with our children. (Our son was only one year old, so he doesn’t remember this at all.) I stayed home to answer the door and hand out candy while the others went on their rounds.
|The Halloween of the fire -- how appropriate that she was dressed as a devil.|
“No,” I told him firmly. “You can’t move the car. It’s going to blow up.” Sure enough, in a couple of minutes, the fire hit the gas tank, and a ball of flame shot out of the garage into the dark night. About that time, I figured I better check on the little darlings. I walked in to find our daughter sitting right in front of a large picture window watching the fire, which had really flared up with the gas tank explosion. The window faced directly onto the neighbors’ garage. With visions of shattering glass in my head, I snatched her away and hustled both children cattycorner across the street to another house. Our picture window did not shatter, but a second floor window above did crack from the heat.
I don’t know if I was overly exuberant in my snatching, but ever since, our daughter has been a little wary of fire. Not terrified or obsessive about it, but she does emphasize that she never wants an attached garage on her house. And she certainly did latch onto the symbolism of Brigid’s cross. That’s fine with me. As talismans go, it’s quite a charming one.
|On the living room hutch doors, protecting my flow blue china from fire.|