If the pure fire of prayer

If the pure fire of prayer engulfs us - are we
other than what we were moments before?
If the certainty of love brings a sudden
rush of blood – are we someone new?

Are we no longer the person who had just
poured tea – who took our child to school
this morning – the one in whom a seed,
dormant for years, has suddenly flowered?

And will it always be so?
Will we remain on this plateau –
live only in a pure sheet of flame –
feel love this intensely forever?

No, we are not of such durable mettle;
yet this sudden new opening is like
turning past a wall into an avenue
where new prospects delight our senses.

For we know we have come home to ourselves
in a way unimaginable minutes earlier –
and have seen how we are at one
with all existence – everywhere, and at all times.

Salisbury Quaker Meeting 6/9/98
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