beautyJohn O’Donohue writes,

I love the imagination of light!
How gradually light will build a mood for the eye
to discover something new in a familiar mountain.
This glimpse serves to deepen the presence of the mountain
And to remind the eye that surface can be subtle and surprising.
Gathered high in silence and stillness,
The mountain is loaded with memory that no mind or word can reach.
Light never shows the same mountain twice.
Only the blindness of habit convinces us that we continue
to live in the same place,
That we see the same landscape.

In truth, no place ever remains the same
Because light has no mind for repetition; it loves difference.
Through its illumination,
It strives to suggest the silence depths that hide in the dark.
Light is always more fragile at a threshold
An island is an edged place, a tense threshold between ocean and sky,
Between land and light.

The West of Ireland enjoys magnificent light.
The collusion of cloud, rain, light and landscape is always surprising.
Within the space of one morning, a whole sequence of different landscapes
Can appear outside the window.

An absolute servant, light conceals itself within its own transparency.
Yet confronted at evening by the finality of darkness,
It turns on every last lamp of color.
At twilight the light succumbs to wonder and reveals the inner colour
With which daylight had invested each object.

Twilight is a fascinating threshold,
For it is then that light finally falls away
and the dark closes on the world.
This is a frontier of tension: it is at once beginning and end.
These edges reveal beauty.

The beautiful can exist at the edge precisely because
It has nothing to lose and everything to give away.

Our time is hungry in spirit. In some unnoticed way
We have managed to inflict severe surgery on ourselves.
We have separated soul from experience,
Become utterly taken up with the outside world
and allowed the inner world to shrink.

Like a stream that disappears underground, there remains on the surface
Only the slightest trickle.

When we devote no time to the inner life, we lose the habit of soul.
We become accustomed to keeping things at surface level.
The deeper questions about who we are and what we are here for visit us less and less.

If we allow time for soul,
We will come to sense its dark and luminous depths.
If we fail to acquaint ourselves with soul,
we will remain strangers to beauty –
And strangers in our own lives.

34-39. London: Harper Perennial, 2003.