Old Gaelic Blessing

May those who love us, love us
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts
May he turn their ankles
So we’ll know them by their limping.

Who can fail to note the humor? God turning ankles to help us identify
those who don’t love us, a wry wish from a Welsh mind having fun
but creating a further puzzle:

How do we distinguish a God-given limp from any other?

Come to think about it, in my small world of seniors, how many limp at all?
I can think of only two, one from a replaced knee and the other
from an inflamed hip. Nowhere is there a turned ankle to be found.

On several occasions in the past, I’ve turned my ankle and had to limp
through the day. In such cases, I quite agree. Yes, there are times
when I’m my own worst enemy, and can only hobble and stumble,
fighting discomfort, toward a God-turning moment.

A turned ankle is clearly not the worst thing that can happen.
Turned ankles heal. But limping hearts, that God has not been
able to turn. Ah, that’s another thing altogether.

And only the Welsh poet’s impish smile saves the day,
seeing God’s options and the pleasure of being with those
who love us, sure findings in so crippled a world.


< Previous Poem Next Poem >