For Presence


Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you from all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

~John O’Donohue, For Presence, from “To Bless This Space Between Us”

Sometimes I forget what it is to be fully human. With all the consciousness, potential, diversity of emotions playing within, embodied physicality changing and shifting constantly, vulnerability that we sometimes push aside into a dark closet lest fear take the upper hand…..and the innate interconnected presence with everyone and everything.

It is in those moments of forgetfulness that wonder, courage, presence and joy may recede into the background.

is it possible to dive into the rich and vibrant colors of the dahlias in the image above, to remember the light of our own being within the candle flame in a time of life that presents challenges never navigated before, to breathe with the River Birch outside the window celebrating birdsong, squirrel antics and a myriad of smaller creatures that cannot be seen yet still hold an important part in the evolution and diversity of life unfolding.

The mantra of one woman here in the Asheville N. Carolina area who contributed greatly to the local community was “Don’t Postpone Joy”. The story that was told to me was of a woman who was intimately and generously involved in, and contributed to, many projects and causes in the local Asheville community. She was passionate and devoted to making a difference with her presence and within that found joy.

Joy of simply living fully within our own presence. Of making choices that align with heart and soul. Her vulnerability and challenge? Cancer – which eventually took her life.

Each line of John O”Donohue’s blessing “On Presence” asks us to receive fully all it is to be human until the last breath we take. I like to believe that is how he lived his too short life, taken suddenly from this physical embodiment without permission.

Perhaps in the remembering of what it is to live passionately, even within the challenges we all face and the wounding we have all incurred, we shall recapture the potential and possibility – the juiciness of being – to celebrate together in collaboration of what it is to be human.


Elemental Musings” offers postings by a nature lover and elder in transition in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of North Western N. Carolina, in addition to postings by the Wildly Free Elder community.

Post by Gaye Abbott, 9/16/21, Natural Passages Consulting.

We ask that you reference Wildly Free Elder if you wish to pass this on…and thank you for doing so!

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