Blessing #23: A Blessing on the Arrival of Illness

"Now is the time of dark invitation

Beyond a frontier you did not expect; 

Abruptly, your old life seems distant. 


You barely noticed how each day opened

A path through fields never questioned, 

Yet expected, deep down, to hold treasure.  

Now your time on earth

becomes full of threat; 

Before your eyes your future shrinks. 

When the reverberations of shock

subside in you, 

May grace come to restore you to balance. 

May it shape a new space in your heart

To embrace this illness as a teacher

Who has come to open your life

to new worlds. 


May you find in yourself

A courageous hospitatlity

Toward what is difficult, 

Painful, and unknown. 


May you learn to use this illness

As a lantern to illuminate

The new qualities that will emerge in you. 


May the fragile harvesting of this slow light

Help to release whatever has become false in you.

May you trust this light to clear a path

Through all of the fog of the old unease and anxiety

Until you feel arising within you a tranquility

Profound enough to call the storm to stillness. 

May you keep faith with your body, 

Learning to see it as a holy sanctuary

Which can bring this night-wound gradually

Toward the healing and freedom of dawn. 

May you be granted the courage and vision

To work through passivity and self-pity, 

To see the beauty you can harvest

From the riches of this dark invitation. 


May you learn to receive it graciously, 

And promise to learn swiftly

That it may leave you newborn, 

Willing to dedicate your time to birth."