Bits from John O’Donohue’s Four Elements: Reflections on Nature

From “Breathe as Prayer”

Breathing has its own rhythm. Breath comes in ebb and flow. Through breathing you come into the rhythm with your self.

From “Space as Welcome and Possibility”

The generosity of air allows each object to merge and to be. Air gives space. Without space individuality would be impossible. Form is the secret of individuality. And form is a line cut into space.


Sometimes we are so used to looking at objects that we hardly ever look at space.


But in the air there is an unbroken emptiness which extends everywhere and admits any and every shape.


All our words reach out into the air. It may be the case that all the words that we have ever used are still somehow in the air. Maybe the wind ferries them in different direction and weaves them with words from foreign places and times. Who knows what tapestries of sound the silent air hides. Maybe in years to come they will be able to retrieve these words that we once sent out from us.

From “The Ocean as Immense Divinity”

If rhythm is a form cut into time, then individuality is a form cut into space.