A Blessing

BEANNACHT
~John O’Donohue~

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the gray window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colors,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the curach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of the light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life. 

As I mentioned last week in the post, Signs and Synchronicity, I was introduced to John O’Donohue by my friend Susan.  He has since become one of my go-to teachers in matters of the soul.  He was an Irish poet, author, priest and Hegelian philosopher and is known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.   He  died unexpectedly on January 4, 2008 while on a holiday near Avignon, France, just days after his 52 birthday – a brilliant life cut short.

I found this book at Barnes & Noble while looking for another of his books, Beauty:  The Invisible Embrace, which they didn’t have on the shelf.  ANAM CARA:  A BOOK OF CELTIC WISDOM was O’Donohue’s first book, written in 1997 and it is amazing – OMG!  His prose is as powerful for me as his poetry.  Anam Cara means soul friend, and isn’t it fitting that Susan, my soul friend, introduced me to his work.

The book opens with this blessing (Beannacht is the Gaelic word for blessing) which he wrote for his mother.  I wanted to share it with you.

Note:  a curach is a canvas boat

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3 Responses to A Blessing

  1. I just read that poem this morning!!! it’s for Josie if i remember correctly. SE, this is too much, not really, there can never be enough of this wonderment. Thank you for walking this with me, my anam cara!

  2. one more thing…I read it in his book, “Blessing This Space Between Us” I just started reading it and of all the poems we should start our day with, we chose the same one!xoxoxox

  3. suellen1234 says:

    Yes, Josie was his mother, as I learned from a YouTube video of David Whyte reciting the poem. I am in love with this synchronicity that is lighting our way. I will go to Amazon today to order all of his books! And since my cold has settled in nicely, I will be spending much of the day on the sofa reading. Thank you for walking this path with me.

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