Friday, October 13, 2006

An extended blessing

I don't know if you've ever noticed it, but I have a small little Irish/Scottish blessing listed in the sidebar of this page. It says:
May the blessings of light be upon you,
Light without and light within.
And in all your comings and goings,
May you ever have a kindly greeting
From them you meet along the road.
-an old blessing (some say it's Scottish,
some say it's Irish)

I've never explained why it's there. In my Beacon novels (Prairie Fire, Witch's Fire), I have a recurring character of Aunt Riona (aka Catriona Stewart). There's something magical about this woman, but I won't say what.

So, as I was browsing the Internet, looking for something that this character would say, I did a search that combined the elements of Celtic/Gaelic with fire/light and came up with this blessing. I've seen it in different forms, so I took liberties with the blessing, and rewrote it as I think Aunt Riona would say it:
May the blessing of light be upon you,
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you
and warm your heart till it glows,
like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come
and warm himself at it, as well as the friend.
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you,
like a candle set in the windows of a house,
bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

May the blessing of the rain be upon you
- the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that
all the little flowers spring up,
shedding their sweetness on the air.
And may it wash your spirit fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.

May the blessing of the earth be upon you
- the great round earth.
May it be soft under your feet as you walk along it,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day.
And in all your comings and goings,
may you ever have a kindly greeting
for them you meet along the road.

I couldn't find the exact websites I visited seeking inspiration, but if you're curious, here are links to a few that have versions of the blessing: Celtic Dejavu, Island Ireland, and Traditional Wedding Toasts.

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