Recently I've discovered the Irish poet, philosopher John O'Donohue. A friend introduced me to him through this book. (Spoiler alert for friends - you will probably be getting a copy of this book for Christmas.)
I love the poems in this book. There are poems to mark many occasions that provide a meaningful way to create space between us to acknowledge those events. Tonight I am driving a friend to the airport. She is travelling alone and is feeling some anxiety. Last night I wrote out the poem for The Traveler from the section on Thresholds. I love the idea of offering a blessing to someone on the threshold of an adventure.
I think there is something special about a handwritten note. Once our devices are on airplane mode a note is still accessible. A note that specifically address a current situation, contains a blessing, encouragement or comfort in the journey is a gift from the heart.
Today marks the beginning of a new year for me. I'm stepping into it with gratitude and intentionality. I've been reading this poem and letting it work its way into my psyche. I leave you with these words from the poet to reflect on your own beginnings. Just sit with them and find courage to purse your story.
FOR A NEW BEGINNING
by John O'Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Is there someone in your life that you could hold space for today? Try sending them a note. If you want to take it to the next level - mail it!