Praised be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.
Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.
When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.
Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world’s waves.
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.
On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.
— John O’Donohue