Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Your Birthday - John O'Donohue

from http://ashhasgotskillz.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth.

Praised be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world's waves,
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.


  1. Anonymous11:40 PM

    Thank you for posting this lovely work of John O'Donahue. I've been listening to his "Blessings" CD, and wanted to google the poem to send to my son on his birthday, today.

    I "discovered" John's inspiring and comforting works while in an extensive training program on death and dying (to expand my awareness in my work with Hospice).

    He was truly a shining light who left us far sooner than we would have wanted.
    A Blessed and Beautiful New year to you.

  2. Thank you for your post. We as a collective in our spiritual group say that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And to stumble across you today was a real bright spot for me. thank you

  3. Thank you Susannah for this beautiful quote and for reminding me of this truth.

    Blessings and Peace,


    1. Susannah7:12 AM

      So glad you found it! Happy Birthday, Bill! (Your last name is awesome, btw!) :)

  4. Thank you so much for posting these beautiful words, and for creating your blog. I recently discovered John O'Donohue who is lifting my spirit up into the light of profound self knowing. What a gift to know so many of our hearts are singing together in harmony! I plan to post John's birthday blessing on a facebook page for someone's birthday today, whose name is also Susanna! She is a wonderful divine being you might like to discover: http://www.angelheartconnections.com/Susanna_Sophia_Hart.html.

    1. You are so welcome! I have loved keeping my blog. Thank you so much for the kind words, and the link. I am going to explore Susanna's site today. I wonder if you might also love the poet, David Whyte. He is a beautiful writer. Here is a link to an TED talk that he gave. I hope you like it as much as I did: http://youtu.be/5Ss1HuA1hIk

    2. Dear Susannah... A truly kind online member of a sangha I belong to (Wildmind) sent me a link that brought me here to your blog when I shared with the group that it's my husband's birthday tomorrow. I'm acquainted with John O'Donohue but am now even more eager to explore his work. This birthday blessings touches me deeply. I've now read it several times and will be pondering its meaning more fully. I'm so grateful and I look forward to my husband absorbing these precious words as well. I'm printing a copy of this beautiful poem to insert in my husband's card tomorrow, and I know he'll consider it to be one of his greatest blessings. Thank you so much from my heart. This blog seems saturated with kindness and spirit, and btw... I'll be checking out David Whyte concerning his TED talk too. Many thanks and so many blessings!

    3. Dear Anne Marie... I cannot thank you enough for these kind words. I totally share in your feelings about the poem/blessing by O'Donohue. I have copied and inserted it in birthday cards I have given to several of my friends and family members. I received your message of thanks right as I was struggling with a difficult feeling that came up for me relating to a challenging situation, and it reminded me that the simple things we do in life....like reach out and share, or pass on information or thanks or blessings... really do touch hearts. These simple heartfelt choices matter! Thank you again! Much, much love coming your way. Oh...and David Whyte...have the TED talk is stunning. The poem he recites at the beginning is another favorite. .... "The doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you..." I love that! Susannah xoxoxoxo

  5. I listened to this today on CD and printed it off for our son's 55th birthday...
    John O'Donohue's words are helping me cope with the "thresholds" life
    is presenting us.....so glad you posted this!