I started this year, 2018, reflecting on my unexpected and much appreciated blessings – love, in particular.

The universe sent this beautiful poem to me as I was reflecting on the huge life-changes that I was about to make.

I hope it moves and inspires you as much as it did me.


To An English Friend in Africa

by Ben Okri

Be grateful for freedom

To see other dreams.

Bless your loneliness as much as you drank

Of your former companionships.

All that you are experiencing now

Will become moods of future joys

So bless it all.

Do not think your ways superior

To another’s

Do not venture to judge

But see things with fresh and open eyes

Do not condemn

But praise what you can

And when you can’t be silent.


Time is now a gift for you

A gift of freedom

To think and remember and understand

The ever perplexing past

And to re-create yourself anew

In order to transform time.


Live while you are alive.

Learn the ways of silence and wisdom

Learn to act, learn a new speech

Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit

Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you

And which limit your secret and undiscovered road.


Remember that all things which happen

To you are raw materials

Endlessly fertile

Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change

Your life and go on doing for ever.


Never forget to pray and be thankful

For all the things good or bad on the rich road;

For everything is changeable

So long as you live while you are alive.


Fear not, but be full of light and love;

Fear not but be alert and receptive;

Fear not but act decisively when you should;

Fear not, but know when to stop;

Fear not for you are loved by me;

Fear not, for death is not the real terror,

But life – magically – is.


Be joyful in your silence

Be strong in your patience

Do not try to wrestle with the universe

But be sometimes like water or air

Sometimes like fire


Live slowly, think slowly, for time is a mystery.

Never forget that love

Requires that you be

The greatest person you are capable of being,

Self-generating and strong and gentle-

Your own hero and star.


Love demands the best in us

To always and in time overcome the worst

And lowest in our souls.

Love the world wisely.

It is love alone that is the greatest weapon

And the deepest and hardest secret.


So fear not, my friend.

The darkness is gentler than you think.

Be grateful for the manifold

Dreams of creation

And the many ways of unnumbered peoples.


Be grateful for life as you live it.

And may a wonderful light

Always guide you on the unfolding road