Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning.” — John O’Donohue
It started off as a horrific week. My Web site was attacked by a malicious virus, requiring several days of tedious repairs (and I’m still not finished with the archives yet). Later that same day, my dermatologist removed five pre-cancerous patches from my skin. It got a little worse than that, but I won’t go there. It’s enough to say that everything seemed to be eating away at me all at once, or was trying to shed itself.
Regardless, I was making plans for my garden this morning when I was struck with an overwhelming sense of grace and peace. Which shouldn’t surprise me.
My worry list always seems less significant when I breathe deeply in a garden. Working the soil, I forget about midlife health issues, household chores, film bookings, aging parents, unfinished projects, and what I should try to publish next. I forget about blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I forget about all those outdated magazines piling up next to the bed, unread. I turn off the endless loop of chatter from the outside world.
Weeding the Zen garden, I am fully engaged in the moment. Clearing space around the stepping stones, I consider summer’s possibilities. I feel the green stirring of something new, though I cannot name it yet. This Celtic blessing says it all. — CL
For a New Beginning
by John O’Donohue
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 growing 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 gray 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 yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at 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.
–Reprinted from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue, Doubleday Religion, 2008. Special thanks to Sharon of One Woman’s Life in Maine for sharing this beautiful poem with me.