I took buses in the wrong direction in Jerusalem twice today. The second time I landed at a bus stop an hour from my destination. I met Abebe, a 21-year-old Ethiopian yeshiva student. We talked. When he found out I was going to The Kotel he decided to come with. We walked through the Old City together at night, davened ma’ariv at the Wall and he insisted on buying dinner, schwarma with chips. As the evening ended, I asked him if there was anything I could do for him. He asked me to bless him. I did. And so we were both blessed.
On the 10th night of our 12-day journey around Mount Rainier, Gary, Michael and I met two women at the shelter at Indian Bar. We had a blast. It was a great night of camaraderie and story-telling after a long, harrowing and ultimately triumphant day on the trail.
These moments of instant connection with strangers-who-aren’t-strangers are abundant in my life. And they surprise me every time. This traveler’s prayer celebrates the companions we meet along the way. My other prayers for travel are: “For Travel” and “On the Trail.”
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On the Road
G-d of the wayfarer, the traveler, the seeker,
G-d of the inner journey and the outer journey,
Holy One who sends us out to find holiness and light,
Thank You for the gift of kindness from strangers,
The presence of help on the path
And guidance along the way.
With Your loving hand
You provide signs and signals
To those who are willing to listen and to hear.
G-d of mystery and secrets,
The path has its dangers,
The road has its joys and struggles
And at times You seem too distant to reach.
For the struggles ahead we turn to You for comfort.
For the blessings of hope and joy,
Succor along the way,
We give thanks.
Blessed is the G-d of All,
You who provides fellow travelers on the journey out and the journey home,
Give me the opportunity and willingness to be of service to others along the way.
Blessed are You, G-d who provides companions on the journey home.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.