I have heard it said that life is a journey…
If this is so, then it is a long and frightening one, and fraught with peril.
Along the way, the trail narrows and grows rough
And in some places, it passes through deep-shadowed caves.

I watch as you, my beloved daughter, step onto that darksome path
I am helpless and worried, knowing your fear and confusion
And knowing that nothing I can do can change the path you must walk.

I cannot lead you through the shadows,
for though I have walked this path myself,
my shadows were my own, and not the same as yours.

I cannot banish the darkness,
for the only light that can penetrate here
is the lovely glow of your own warm and courageous soul.

I cannot even walk before you,
to find and face the dangers,
for this is not my journey, but yours.

But that is all right, and as it should be;
for the steps we take on life’s journey
are both determined by, and formative of,
our own souls.

And sometimes, you must take the steps yourself
Brave the darkness
Learn the road
And by learning it, change it, and make it yours.

And you do not need a light,
Or a map to follow
Or someone to clear your path.

Sometimes, all you need is a hand in the darkness
To tell you that you are not alone, and that while you are afraid,
fear is not debilitating — it need not stop you from taking the steps you must take
And that you will not become lost in the darkness,
For someone is there with you, holding your hand.

So know this, child of my heart:
That though this darkness is your own
And I can neither banish it, nor lead you through –
Still I will be there with you, always, if you will let me…
And I will always hold your hand.