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Flickering Flame

As the sun banks in the low hills of the wadi, the power of a flickering flame brings old biblical prayers back to the tongues of those it illuminates.

The sun sets below the gentle slope of the sand dunes which stretch as far as the eye can see. A guide lights a kerosene lamp, the likes of which I have not seen since I was a young girl on my grandparent’s low slung Kentucky farm with slopes of a different sort. Unbidden, the words of Deuteronomy (32:10) come to me: "He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye." In the wind the flame flickers and I find myself breathing the same prayer. "Encircle, guide, send me a pillar of Your Holy Fire."

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