For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

I’m a freeborn man of the traveling people
Got no fixed abode, with nomads I have wandered
Country lanes and byways were always my way
I never fancied being numbered

Oh we knew the woods and the resting places
And the small birds sang when winter days were over
Then we’d pack our load and be on the road
Those were good old days for the rover

There was open ground where a man could linger
For a week or two, for time was not our master
Then away we’d jog with our horse and dog
Nice and easy, no need to go faster

I’ve known life hard and I’ve known it easy
I’ve cursed the life when winter days were dawning
But I’ve laughed and sung through the whole night long
Seen the summer sunrise in the morning

All you freeborn men of the traveling people
Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover
Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going
Your traveling days will soon be over
Your traveling days will soon be over

(To Bless the Space Between Us)
thanks to blue eyed ennis
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