There is much wisdom to be found in the Irish oral heritage, old sayings passed down through the generations. Here you'll find some sage advice about the gift of peacefulness in Celtic words of wisdom.
As we prepare to say good-bye to an old year and say hello to the new, I'm avoiding my annual pit-fall of writing a long list of resolutions. I'm only destined to break them long before the end of January.
As this year draws to a close, I'm simply taking time for reflection.
Instead of sharing ill-fated resolutions with you this year, I created a photo collection highlighting my favorite Celtic quotations and blessings, focusing upon the gifts of peacefulness, calm and reflection.
Table of Contents
John O'Donohue Quotation About Peacefulness
Here is one of my favorite quotations from John O'Donohue, Irish writer and scholar:
“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.”
~ from TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US
by John O'Donohue
Here is another beautiful quotation from John O'Donohue.
“We do not need to go out and find love;
rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.”
Michael Collins Longs for Peace
When I read these words uttered by Liam Neeson in the film Michael Collins, I feel a deep sense of sadness.
"I want peace and quiet.
I want it so much I'd die for it."
He lost his life for Ireland's freedom, never finding the peace he so longed for.
May he rest in peace, knowing his sacrifices are appreciated by generations.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats coined the most famous of all Irish words about seeking peace.
In 1888 he wrote "The Lake Isle of Innisfree". His poignant words echo with many of us, who long for a quiet place, close to nature, to be alone, and to find our own inner peace.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
However, at the end of his beautiful poem, Yeats reveals he shall only go there in his heart.
Old Celtic Blessing
Here is a beautiful old Celtic Blessing that beautifully summarizes the great gifts of peacefulness and tranquility.
“May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart till it glows,
Like a great peat fire, so that the stranger
may come and warm himself at it, as well as the friend.
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you,
like a candle set in the windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you - the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up,
And shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the great rains be on you,
that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you - the great round earth;
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people you pass
as you are going along the roads.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.”
May the Blessings of Contentment Be With You
And so this New Year, I hope you too find peace in your heart.
Here are my New Year wishes for all those who read my ramblings ......
May the blessings of contentment be with you
and fill your home with happiness.
May you find time to be alone,
and at peace with your thoughts.
May you experience joy and fulfillment
in the present moment.
May your soul find peace
And strength in silence.
May the beauty of the world
draw you where you need to go.
And as you continue on life's journey,
May you remember it is not always your destination,
but your journey that truly matters.
Whether you are lucky enough to travel to a place of solitude to find calm, or if that is not possible, you choose to travel to your quiet place in your heart, I wish you a New Year filled with peace and joy.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
Here are some other recipes and ramblings from Ireland, which you might enjoy...