For a New Beginning

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 home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue

A note from Rulik

For a New Beginning by John O’Donohue comes to mind as I write in the second week of this New Year. Keenly aware of the merciless passage of time, yet still holding the freshness and promise of a new beginning.

John O’Donohue was born right on a New Year, and died in a New Year, already fifteen years ago. He was 52 years old. Reciting his poetry, his voice is so interesting in its soft power and boundless invitation to explore. As I write, I can hear him calling, sharing the vast wonders of his soul.

This poem is an invitation to explore, not some dangerous mountain top, using pickaxes and ropes, but rather the out-of-the-way places of the heart.

The heart goes out of the way from pain, fear and trauma. Sadly, it often stays out-of-the-way. Our learning is negatively skewed and for a good reason. It is advantageous to not repeat these negative and dangerous experiences. In the depth of our psyche, physical and emotional pain are not well distinguishable. It takes such special calling as the poem offers, to counter this evolutionary tendency.

O’Donohue calls this negatively skewed learning “The seduction of safety.” Safety that is frozen and motionless. The poem gives the power of change to the beginning as a independent entity. The mystery of creation or birth forming quietly in the dark.

A new force that is at one with your life’s desire.
So often the desire is confused with goals, destinations and achievements. So often the distance to the destination brings sadness to the longing and narrows the focus to the painful sense of shortage and deficiency.

The poem invites us to trust the promise of the unclear destination. To distill the longing from the sense of lack.

The last stanza weaves the practical guidance of not holding back, with the encouragement to notice what the soul already does: the world knows your unique gift and awaits you. Will you join the dance?