Hannukah, like most winter holidays is about light in the darkness. Tonight, during and after services, I've let myself think about the darkness, before any candles are lit. There's a Native American story I like about the darkness and its gifts. My version goes like this.
"In the long ago when the animals coould speak words, Dragon fly was the keeper of the void, the deep well of darkness which swelled at the edge of all that was known. Dragon fly flitted back and forth at the edge of the darkness. Few animals came close the the edge of the void. The darkness frightened them. But Swan was different. She was gray and dumpy, bored with her life, and very very curious. Day after day she would waddle to the very edge and ask Dragon Fly "What is down there?" and day after day Dragon Fly would give her the same answer "If you want to know, jump." And one day Swan did jump. When she emerged she was white, serene and graceful as we know swans today. All the animals were astounded by the change in Swan and asked her in a hundred ways "What happened to you down there in the void." And every time Swan answered, "If you want to know, jump,"
May I find the courage to explore and abide areas of darkness in my life.