January 13, 2011 Beannacht For Josie

Beannacht For Josie by John O’Donohue

This is a poem sent to me from my friend.  I thought you might like to share it.

Beannacht – For Josie

January 1st 2012


Dear friends,

Yesterday afternoon (December 31, 2011), John’s dear mother, Josie O’Donohue, passed away. She was surrounded by her family when she slipped peacefully across that threshold to John’s waiting arms. 

Years ago, John wrote this blessing, “Beannacht”, for his mother . . . 

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 grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach 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 ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

6 thoughts on “January 13, 2011 Beannacht For Josie

  1. Oh, Annell, this is soooooo beautiful. And I smile to think of her crossing over into John’s waiting arms. Two mothers passing within a short space of time. Hold steady, my friend, cups of hot tea, warm blankets, crackling fires and reverie……..

  2. I know. It comes when it comes, “ready or not”, and of course we’re always “not”. I love John’s Anam Cara, all of his writing is so beautiful. I have a copy of it. January 15 on Sunday and unless the roads are slippery I will finally take Pup’s leash to the river. We’re expecting snow though so it might have to wait a few days. I think back to what wonderful supports you and Elizabeth were to me through those hard months. I will always appreciate iot and never forget it.

    I feel a lot out of touch with friends and online doings – December I had to work too much, and was too exhausted……….. and now am collapsed in a little heap, recovering and am finally able to lift my head and look around. Glad you are still here!

    And guess what? Spring is only a couple of months away!!!!!!

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