This week, I bring you a poem, a blessing, by recently deceased Irish philosopher, theologian, and poet John O’Donohue. If you are not familiar with him, acquainting yourself with his books or with podcast interviews with O’Donohue, like this one from On Being, will be well worth your time. The book of blessings from which the below poem derives is a beautiful resource to dip into whenever you wish to offer words of encouragement or strength to others or to absorb a blessing for your own life. Each poem (each blessing) is categorized by its chief intention. There are blessings for different times of day, for different forms of desire, for moments on the verge of various thresholds, for homecomings, states of the heart, callings, and for grief. So, in the dawn of this new day, I give you “A Morning Offering.” The last stanza especially, I want to take to heart.
A Morning Offering
by John O’ Donohue
I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.
I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Waves of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.
May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.