I am on my way out of town for an annual contemplative prayer retreat. A week without facebook, twitter, and klout ratings, without homestead responsibilities, and one of me showing up to God. It is a week I have come to thirst for in the past six years. And I always leave the blog with a little note saying, you’ll be fine without me. I am saying that to myself though. I need to remember that blog numbers, facebook likes, and comments are not a measure of my worth. This next week of listening to what is happening deep in my soul is worth so much more.
Every year I move more into the hard work of freedom. Freedom that has nothing to do with my nationality or passport. It is an openness which comes in being reminded of how deeply loved I am. In a matter of less than two weeks I will return to the world of words and interwebbing with that love wrapped tightly around me once again. I hope to share, as I did last year, more of what I learn as I reemerge gently back into the every day rhythm of my life.
May we all be gentle with ourselves until then. Here is a Celtic Blessing for Freedom from my favorite guy, John O’Donohue.
As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.
As the ocean absolves itself
Of the expectation of land,
In the form of waves
That fill and pleat and fall
With such gradual elegance
As to make of the limit
A sonorous threshold
Whose music echoes back along
The give and strain of memory,
Thus may your heart know the patience
That can draw infinity from limitation.
As the embrace of earth
Welcomes all we call death,
Taking deep into itself
The tight solitude of a seed,
Allowing it time
To shed the grip of former form
And give way to a deeper generosity
That will one day send it forth,
A tree into springtime,
May all that holds you
Fall from its hungry ledge
Into the fecund surge of your heart.
To Bless the Space Between Us by, John O’Donohue. Doubleday, New York. 2008, pages 30-31.