May a Slow Wind Work These Words of Love Around You


Beannacht — for Josie

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency 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, from Anam Cara

My dearest Ms. Feverfew –

You don’t know this but you have a serious streak of Irish in you. My maternal grandfather was Irish, through and through. He gave his only daughter, my mother, an appropriate Irish name, spelled and pronounced in the proper Irish way, too. When she joined the LDS church back in the 1960’s, her Irish-Catholic grandfather told her, “It doesn’t matter what religion you join. You were born a Catholic and you will die a Catholic!”

But you don’t know any of this, and so I wonder, when you read the works of Irish poets like O’Donohue, do you have the same reaction as I, where something deep inside resonates to the lyrical procession of words?

Regardless, whether you know of your Irish ancestors or not, the blessing remains. A flock of colors, a meadow of delight, a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home. Nourishment, clarity, fluency, protection, a slow wind, and an invisible cloak made of words of love. All of this I wish for you.

Much love –

M.

_________________________________________

To hear John read this poem written for his mother, please visit http://www.onbeing.org/program/inner-landscape-beauty/feature/john-odonohues-poems-recited-poet-himself/1127

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8 thoughts on “May a Slow Wind Work These Words of Love Around You

  1. Thank you for the lovely poems you have posted recently.

    These lines…..

    And so may a slow
    wind work these words
    of love around you,
    an invisible cloak
    to mind your life.

    are beautiful and something that I would like to send to my son, too.

  2. Melynda, I found your post on FirstMothersForum and felt you expressed so well the sense we first mothers too often have of our love having been “not enough”—and so I clicked to your blog and it is magnificent! I love the poems and find your ability to articulate experience superb.

      • The words are sincerely meant. I’m a reunited first mother, and I’ve felt many of these things. I too have written about them–some pieces in N.Robinson’s anthology Touched by Adoption, some poems in the Poems on Adoption blog, and in my novel The Rescuer’s Path (PVP, 2012), and news pieces. But I find your work makes one feel so much of this anew. Thank you again.

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