Special Issue - Nine Eleven

A Candle Burning

By Marcia Barthelow

When we light a candle,
we proclaim that together,
with the power of our humanity,
we will illuminate the darkness.
Like the flame that flickers before us,
we will rise up with grace.
we will keep blazing with purpose.
and we will bend with the winds that threaten to blow us out.

When we light a candle
we commit ourselves to peace,
and we remember:
Peace is not the absence of tension,
but the presence of balance.
Peace is more than a dream.
It requires that we act boldly,
perceive clearly
and that we risk being seen.

Peace is not gained through fear of confrontation
or conflict;
it will not be achieved by a will to dominate
or a desire to destroy;
it is not grounded in rivalry, rage or revenge.
Peace begins in our hearts,
it compels us to reach out and forgive others
even as we forgive ourselves.

So let us not embrace terror
Let us not return hate with hate,
Let us instead be a force for reconciliation in a torn world.
Let us keep our flames alive:
They are our hope,
our light burning
in a world suffused with darkness.

©Marcia Barthelow 2002

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