I’m getting excited about my holiday, counting down to departure day this week. And since I know I’m not the only one travelling, I thought you might like this John O’Donohue poem too – I think it works wherever you’re travelling, near or far. I first came across this particular poem on the fabulous blog of one of my heroes, Sarah Wilson (you can check out Sarah’s blog here) and since this trip of mine is to Ireland, the connection to John O’Donohue fits perfectly. I love it. You can check out more of the late John O’Donohue’s amazing work here. Bon voyage, travellers!
For The Traveller by John O’Donohue
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in,
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening a conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight.
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence goes with you,
And if you listen
You will hear
What your heart
Would love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing.
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you towards
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life;
And the urgencies
That deserve to clam you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home, more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.