Image courtesy of Free Foto.
I prefer the version of this poem as adapted by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance.
Pray that your journey be long,
full of many summer mornings
when with much pleasure and joy
you anchor in harbors never seen before;
Browse through Phoenician markets,
to purchase exquisite treasures-
mother-of-pearl and coral, ebony and amber
and sensual perfumes of all kinds-
as much as you desire.
Visit many Egyptian cities, content
to sit at the feet of sages, eager
and open to receive learning.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is your destiny.
But do not hurry the journey at all; be patient.
Better that it lasts for many years-
longer than you can even imagine.
So that finally, when you reach this
sacred isle, you will be a wise woman,
abundantly fulfilled by all you have gained along the way;
no longer expecting Ithaka to make you wealthy,
no longer needing Ithaka to make you rich.
And should you find her poor, Ithaka did not deceive you.
Authentic as you have become, full of wisdom,
beauty and grace, enriched and enlightened by all you have experienced
You will finally understand what all of life’s Ithakas truly mean.
Here’s to the journey of 2009.