The last of the swans left early yesterday morning, leaving only the long-term residents of the valley in place.
It reminds me that peace is a long-term endeavour. And our desire for peace requires “a long walk in the same direction.”
So here is a blessing For Peace from John O’Donohue. Because we need this to be peace carriers, walking with those facing war and conflict.
As the fever of day comes towards twilight
May all that is strained in us come to ease.
We pray for all who suffered violence today,
May an unexpected serenity surprise them.
For those who risk their lives each day for peace,
May their hearts glimpse providence at the heart of history.
That those who make riches from violence and war
Might hear in their dreams the cries of the lost.
That we might see through our fear of each other
A new vision to heal our fatal attraction to aggression.
That those who enjoy the privilege of peace
Might not forget their tormented brothers and sisters.
That the wolf might lie down with the lamb,
That our swords be beaten into ploughshares
And no hurt or harm be done+ John O’Donohue from Benedictus: A Book of Blessings, Bantam Press, 2007
Anywhere along the holy mountain.
Interestingly, this is the last poem from John O’Donohue, given as the epilogue in the last book before his unexpected death.