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