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Weekly Message

Friday, August 24, 2018 (albeit written a few days before) 

Dear Friends, 

This week’s installment comes to you through the magic hands of Tania… as it always does in its sending, but particularly in its preparing this time. With all her usual ease of making my load lighter, she lovingly re-typed the long-ish blessing that follows, all so that I could pass it on to you. Such is life in this community, on this staff. We are blessed and held by each other, and by all of you – including times of gracious release. For me, this week and next, that’s literal, as I’m now on vacation and unplugged in every way. 

So why this text: because I’m now in the mode of travel, even if only to Montreal for a short while; and mostly because it’s the Blessing that I shared with and for our Eric in last Sunday’s service. They are words I pray for him and his new adventure, and also that I pray for you. Wherever life takes you, between now and our next time together, may you experience it as sacred journey. May you travel in an awakened way that knows, always, how much we can’t wait to welcome you home again. 

With love to you all, 

Heather 

FOR THE TRAVELER 

By John O’Donohue, in To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings 

(Doubleday, 2008), pp. 53-55 

Every time you leave home, 

Another road takes you 

Into a world you were never in. 

New strangers on other paths await. 

New places that have never seen you. 

Will startle a little at your entry. 

Old places that know you well 

Will pretend nothing 

Changed since your last visit. 

When you travel, you find yourself 

Alone in a different way, 

More attentive now 

To the self you bring along, 

Your more subtle eye watching 

You abroad; and how what meets you 

Touches that part of the heart 

That lies low at home: 

How unexpectedly attune 

To the timbre in some voice, 

Opening a conversation 

You want to take in 

To where your longing 

Has pressed hard enough 

Inward, on some unsaid dark, 

To create a crystal of insight 

You could not have known 

You needed 

To illuminate 

Your way. 

When you travel, 

A new silence 

Goes with you, 

And if you listen, 

You will hear 

What your heart would 

Love to say. 

A Journey can become a sacred thing: 

Make sure, before you go, 

To take the time 

To bless your going forth, 

To free your heart of ballast 

So that the compass of your soul 

Might direct you toward 

The territories of spirit 

Where you will discover 

More of your hidden life, 

And the urgencies 

That deserve to claim you. 

May you travel in an awakened way, 

Gathered wisely into your inner ground; 

That you may not waste the invitations 

Which wait along the way to transform you. 

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, 

And live your time away to its fullest; 

Return home more enriched, and free 

To balance the gift of days which call you. 

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