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The Gift of John O'Donohue

John O'Donohue gave us the gift of Celtic wisdom, deep caring, and heart-touching love in poems that feed the soul.

Zambezi River at sunset, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

I treasure his book, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, that offers a poetic blessing for every life event.

But it's O'Donohue's short poem, "Fluent" that I have committed to memory and added to my morning practice, a reminder of how I want to live my life.


I would love to live

Like a river flows,

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding.

I recite this poem in child's pose, which seemed appropriate when I began, but now I see it in an even fresher light.

Child's Pose

A child lives like a river flows. They do not rush simply to arrive at a destination -- they tarry in eddies, linger in shadows of leaves, carry small creatures. They roll over pebbles, poke at beetles, speak to butterflies.

A walk with a young child is not so much a walk, but a bowing down to a world of wonder.

Box Turtle, Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, MD

On our recent trip to Zimbabwe, I felt exactly this way. Every step, every turn, offered up another bit of magic. One morning, I recited this poem to the group in my jeep before we started off and it resonated with us all. We truly felt as though each time we entered the bush, or emerged from our tents, we were living like a river "carried by the surprise of its own unfolding."

Yellow-billed Stork, Zimbabwe

African Elephant, mother and baby, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

NOTE: There's a new heading at the top of my page: Blog Poems: Here I will add the poems I mention in my blogs if you would like to download them. Also, no log-in or membership necessary to download poems or to comment in purple box below. I'd love to hear from you. And if you like what you read, click that little heart!

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