Irish Ancestor

Hudson sunset

Irish Ancestor

Even though your name is lost to me,
you appear in my mind from nowhere
like the sum of two easy numbers.

Even though I know nothing
of your village, your prayers, the stories
of your hearth and your departure,

behind my eyes,
your struggles gather
beside the pool of dreams.

You appear with your tangerine curls
half pinned up, half fallen
onto the shoulder of worn cloth.

You tell me
that the hammock of grief I sometimes feel myself fall into
runs deeper than the wounds of this lifetime.

You say I have carried your pain, like a stone,
without knowing—we all have,
one after the other,

from one side of the River Shannon
across streams and lochs and the great
Atlantic, into the hungry mouth of the Hudson.

You want me to drop it now,
this sorrow,
because enough is enough.

The gift you meant to give
was courage,
and however pale it seems to me

you have woven it securely in my aura,
a blessing to accompany me across the wild waters,
a light from you to those who follow.

Ask for a Gift

Ask for a Gift by Lake

The late Irish philosopher and mystic, John O’Donohue, said if you’re ever stuck or upset, ask your angel for a gift. You don’t need to ask for anything specific. Just ask for a gift, or for lots of them if you like (I do), and surprising things will turn up. By not asking for anything specific, you open yourself up to infinite possibilities. And now instead of being mired in your problem, you are relaxing in the knowing that someone, a loving being, is helping you. John O’Donohue says your angel is your constant companion. The act of asking your angel anything is a reminder to you that you are never alone.

Recently, this thought surfaced in an unexpected way. In a moment of exasperation, to calm myself down, I grabbed some color markers, and started writing in big letters exactly what you see below. Not only did it make me feel better, but I’ve found myself since then calling up this prayer at various not so upsetting times, just to reset my thinking, bring me back to the present moment, or simply to ask my angel for something.

Go ahead and say the prayer for yourself. And don’t forget to ask your angel for a gift.


Sometimes Prayer


Prayer to St. Brigid of Ireland


St Brigid

St. Brigid

A patron saint of Ireland, Saint Brigid is also a patron saint of poets. Although today is the feast of St. Patrick, I’m posting this prayer to St. Brigid in honor of all things Irish in me and around me. Wishing you many blessings.


Prayer to St. Brigid for Creativity

Just as you led the Celtic mind
out to the meadow of transfiguring light,
lead also my hopeful imagination
out into a new meadow this day

Just as you shed physical beauty for the gifts of spirit,
quell also my accumulating nature
so that the gifts of the grassy fields
may come gently into focus

Just as you wove reeds into a tale of conversion
May I also weave available stalks into an artful message

May I be in your vein brave and creative.

A Part Irish Blessing

Unexpected Petunia


A Part Irish Blessing

If I were full Irish, I could say to you,

May your road be blessed

and the container of these words would automatically hold
every highway, every turn, every tree on the side, every leaf on the tree.
It would cover not only pavement and gravel, but every
flight path, rail bed, waterway,
every metaphorical trail you might conceive of or encounter.
It would encompass all weather, all sunlight, every moonrise.
It would illuminate your conversations, your daydreams, your calculations,
and most certainly your love.

But as I am only part Irish, I must conjure explicitly,
not so that you would know all this,
but so that my other parts might learn.

Cheryl Racanelli