Sunday, March 17, 2013

An Irish Blessing

"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluencey of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. 
And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life." ~ John O'Donohue

 I came across this beautiful blessing while recently rereading Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom From The Celtic World by one of my favorite Irishmen, John O'Donohue, and wanted to share it with you this St.Patrick's Day. It has been exactly ten years, this week, since I left my cozy cottage by the Irish Sea, and moved to the unknown landscape of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in the high desert of New Mexico. When I arrived here first, I often drew that invisible cloak around my shoulders, and somehow found the courage to keep going. 

Although the orange-brown landscape, and ocean blue sky, are vastly different from the green fields and cloud speckled sky of the Emerald Isle, in every way visible to the eye, both places pulsate with an ancient magic and aliveness, that fuel the spirit and calm the soul. I feel blessed today, to have an intimate connection with both places.

This month I released my new book, Third Time Lucky:A Creative Recovery  (Emerald Flame Publishing) , (nearly ten years in the making!) which is  largely set in Ireland. Below is a brief excerpt from Chapter 12: The Land of Enchantment - to give you a wee taste.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. 
—Helen Keller
All of my ancestors had a deep love and respect for the land. Both of my parents came from farming backgrounds, spending their youths picking potatoes and forking hay. I remember my cousin, Marie, telling me that when she was about seven years old, our grandfather, who always wore a tweed peak cap and had a pipe hanging out the side of his mouth, opened his arms wide and waved them to include all the green fields and the sky above and said, “God made all this.” They were standing outside the thatched cottage where he was born, back in 1900, the same cottage where my mom and her eight siblings had also been born. Marie never forgot it. I am so grateful she told me. 
The Irish poet and mystic John O’Donohue refers to the Celtic imagination as one that walks out the door and sees a “wild and alive landscape,” and every living thing as vibrant and full of beauty and life, which also includes one’s self and one another. In early Celtic times, the people did not worship God and Spirit enclosed behind walls. The entire landscape was sacred, and worship to the Divine knew no boundaries. When I was younger, I thought it was strange to hear my grandparents talk about the fields as if they were people. They gave the fields names and often referred to them with affection. In fact, it is said that the name Ireland is derived from the ancient goddess Eru and means “body of the goddess.” The mountains were her breasts, the rivers her tears, and her divinity was made visible through the beauty of nature. It seemed that there was a much stronger connection between Native American and Celtic spirituality than I had ever imagined. 

I opened with an Irish blessing and I will close with one from my new homeland:

"May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day."~ Native American Proverb

Wishing you a St.Patrick's Day full of luck and wonder and LOVE! 


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I am such a fan of John O'Donhue's poetry, especially when heard recited in his melliflous voice. I love this extract from your book too - how perfect for today. Marie x