The memory of a sweet, sacred scent caused me to wake,
and in the darkness of the room I dressed.
Outside, the thin Alabama air was crisp with frost.
The distant horizon hinted of the approaching sun
in shades of blue unknown to any artist’s palette,
and here in the early morning cold
I lifted up a quiet voice in prayer,
my breath like incense wafting skyward.
For a moment my vision drifted up also,
and I glimpsed other prayers rising from bedsides,
over cups of coffee, in barns and garages,
each wisping toward the heavens.
As my sight ascended, more prayerful trails,
more than I could count, from all around the world
intermingled and became as one,
like smoke coming from an incense burner
against the backdrop of the sun like a fiery golden alter.
Then I remembered the scent that brought me from sleep:
it smelled of worship, of gratitude, of love, of desire,
from the lips of millions to the throne of God.
Before I could see His countenance
I was back on crunchy, frosty grass
just as the morning sun cut a wide swath
of brilliance upon the eastern sky.