All throughout these months as the shadows have lengthened,
this blessing has been gathering itself,
making ready, preparing for this night.
It has practiced walking in the dark,
traveling with its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.
So believe me when I tell you this blessing will reach you
even if you have not light enough to read it;
it will find you even though you cannot see it coming.
You will know the moment of its arriving
by your release of the breath you have held so long;
a loosening of the clenching in your hands,
of the clutch around your heart;
a thinning of the darkness that had drawn itself around you.
This blessing does not mean to take the night away
but it knows its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots along the path,
knows what it means to travel
in the company of a friend.
So when this blessing comes, take its hand.
Set out on the road you cannot see.
This is the night when you can trust
that any direction you go,
you will be walking toward the dawn.
~ Jan Richardson from “Through the Advent Door”