A poem by John O’Donohue

It is a snowy white morning in my backyard and I’m thinking about the new year.There have been so many suggestions that have passed through my email box in the past two weeks about how to improve or energize the new canvas of time that spreads before us.Some I have even passed along to you in past years. Choose a word as a talisman. Write your intentions. Use these four questions to reflect on the past year and get ready for the new. Goals. Review and plan. It all sounds like so much work.You all come to mind. Some of you I know well. Many of you I connect with only in cyber space. But what I do know about all of you is that you work very hard. You are part of the CJ community because you care about your health – you are minding it every day. You work at your professions – for some of you that is paid work, others are full time parents, more than full time volunteers – you are all working.So as I start this year by staring out the window, I want to encourage you to have some fun. Leave some spaces. Don’t make your life all about goals and effort.There is that delicate balance between how much effort we are always putting in – pushing our shoulders against the wheel for one more turn, and allowing something to happen. Receiving. Opening our hands for life to come to us.In that spirit, I share with you this Blessing for the New Year, written by the late Irish poet John O’Donohue.

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 gray window

And the ghost of loss

Gets into you,

May a flock of colors,

Indigo, red, green

And azure blue,

Come to awaken in you

A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

In the curragh 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 oceans be yours,

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And may a slow

Wind work these words

Of love around you,

An invisible cloak

To mind your life.

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