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A Morning Blessing

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.

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