Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 342: Found Blessings by John O'Donohue

In the poet John O'Donohue's wonderful book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (Doubleday, 2008) he offers essays and poems to use on the occasions (ordinary and extraordinary) of our lives.  In the epilogue he write this essay called "Found Blessings."  I quote him here.

"It was Kierkegaard who said that life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward.  Most of the time we are unaware of how blessed our lives are.  Poets often refer to an occasional poem as a "found poem."  In contrast to the usual travails, frustrations, and endless versions through which most poems come to life, this a a poem that practically wrote itself.  Perhaps in terms of blessing, we could say the same: there are around our lives "found blessings."  Friendship, for instance, is one.  Yeats once said, friendship is the only house we have to offer.  Without the blessing of friendship, we would never have become who we are.  In the climate of love and understanding that friendship provides, we take root and blossom into full human beings.  Our friends are the mirrors where we recognize ourselves, and quite often it is their generosity of spirit that has enabled us to grow and flourish.  There is also the blessing of health: the ability to see, to hear, to understand, and to celebrate life.  The found blessings also include the gifts that we find coming alive in our lives, abilities that sleep in our hearts that we never suspected.  There are also the blessings of our discoveries and modest accomplishments.  All of these have been given to us; on our own we could never have merited or earned them.  The more we recognize our found blessings, the more they increase around us."  
p. p. 213 

I'm not sure why I chose to use this bushel of lemons to accompany this inspiring quote.  We have a large Meyer lemon tree and just harvested a bounty.  These, too, may be among the found blessings of our lives.

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