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This poem by the late Irish poet John O’Donohue showed up in my inbox last week (via emails from Inward/Outward, a wonderful daily dose of prose, if you’re looking for one). It keeps echoing through my mind, and I find myself forwarding it to friends who are facing new beginnings of all sorts. And aren’t all of us, on some level? So I thought I’d share it here. As the new year settles in, and we reckon both with the good intentions we set for ourselves and with what it will take to see them come to fruition, may we be freshly attentive to the new beginnings awaiting us at every turn. Happy Monday.
For a New Beginning
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 grow 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 grey 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 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.
(in To Bless the Space Between Us)