For a New Beginning
By John O’Donohue
(1956 – 2008)
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
I had a dream. I was already there walking the streets and I was fine. I knew this was a sign and some of my fear of traveling to a third world country for the first time subsided. My family, on the other hand, was terrified and begged me not to go. That’s why I set up my blog, so they could see where I was and what I was up to. But I was dead set against getting an international cell phone like my father cheerfully suggested. After all, I wasn’t traveling for 17 hours by plane, 24 hours total travel time, to the other side of the planet so anyone, anytime, could find me. No, this wasn’t a vacation. I wasn’t going on a guided tour to all the famous tourist destinations. I wasn’t staying in fancy hotels and eating at Pizza Hut and McDonalds- considered good American food. I wanted to experience the real thing. I wanted to stay in ashrams and practice yoga, meditate and pray. I wanted to meet and talk to people on the streets and learn about their way of life. I wanted to immerse myself in the holy water of the Ganges River. I also wanted to avoid getting sick, like so many people who visit third world countries do. So I got the minimal shots required, packed my backpack according to the lonely planet guide book, had my parents drop me at the airport and was off on the adventure of a lifetime. (more…)