That prayer has great power which a person makes with all his might.
It makes a sour heart sweet, a sad heart merry, a poor heart rich, a foolish heart wise,
a timid heart brave, a sick heart well, a blind heart full of sight, a cold heart ardent.
It draws down the great God into the little heart;
it drives the hungry soul up into the fullness of God;
it brings together two lovers, God and the soul,
in a wondrous place where they speak much of love.
– Mechthild of Magdeburg
There’s an age that’s right for sparklers,
For igniting the dark of the lawn.
Then the afterglow grays on the wire,
And the sparkler time is gone.
I recall one evening grown smaller,
A neighbor from some distant land
Brought three dozen boxes; too many almost
For sparkler-hooked children to stand.
Like small demented blacksmiths
We forged white metal there.
In lances bright with glory
To slash the velvet air.
Glistening and breathless as lovers,
Lawless as swallows in flight,
Shrieking, careening, colliding,
Erasing our bedtime with light.
Except for a single small maiden,
inscribing in letters of fire,
Over and over and over,
The name of her small heart’s desire.
RONNIE, she wrote, and then RONNIE,
Arm weary but steadfast she stood,
RONNIE, new sparkler, and RONNIE
Till the fire was darkened for good.
Well, the age of sparklers is over,
And just as well I would say.
Dangerous, wasteful and surely
Too childish for children today.
Still–it might be nice to remember
When most nice memories are gone,
How your name–if it’s RONNIE–was written
One evening in stars on the lawn.
~ Will Stanton