Three years burning

April 6, 2005

Today…. April 6… the third anniversary of the lighting of the eternal flame here at Windgrove.

Over a thousand days of feeding wood into a black, sunkened hearth now powerful with its own legacy spreading throughout the world.

Over a thousand days standing before it offering prayers of peace.

peace fire 2005

This morning was no different than any other morning. Lift the lid off, add three to four split logs to the flames, do salutations at each of the four cardinal points facing outward, finishing back at the East stone, but now facing inward to speak prayers into the fire, sometimes audibly, most often silently.

I feel quiet. No more need be said about today. Except to offer up this poem by Pattiann Rogers:

Trial and Error

The right prayer might be a falling
prayer spiralling down in the throats
and raised wings and white warmth
of tumbling pigeons, the joy
of a beseeching abandon, or a crossing
prayer in the fingers of oak branches
over themselves, their display
of a hopeful wind, or a drifting
prayer in the cerise petals
loosed and dropping from a stalk
of wild betony, a proclamation
in dissolution.

It may take two every night, maybe three
every dawn — prayers offered of one fact
against another — milkweed against winter,
reflected face against water, rapid
barking against fear.

I can compose any kind, prayers wrapped
in seaweed, rolled in grape leaves,
prayers sent spinning tied to butterfly
kites crackling in the sky over the sea,
prayers in wax bound to stones sunk
past coral cliffs or ice canyons
to the ocean floor, prayers delivered
with moans or howls, rattling gourds
or timbals, prayers in the cadence of rain,
prayers in the absence of breath.

I’ll send them out in signs, lanterns
on rooftops, candles on cairns, backward

Pattiann Rogers

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