We build temples in the heart
We have seen the great cathedrals,
stone laid upon stone,
carved and cared for
by centuries of certain hands;
seen the slender minarets
soar from dusty streets
to raise the cry of faith
to the One and Only God;
seen the placid pagodas
where gilded Buddhas squat
amid the temple bells and incense.
We have seen the tumbled temples
half-buried in the sands,
choked with verdant tangles,
sunk in corralled seasó
old truths toppled and forgotten.
We have even seen the wattled huts,
the sweat lodge hogans,
the wheeled yurts,
and the Ice Age caverns
where unwritten worship
raised its knowing voices.
But here we build temples in our hearts.
Side by side we gather.
We mix the mortar of the scattered dust
of the Holy of Holies
with the sacred water
of the Ganges;
lay Moorish alabaster
on the blocks of Angkor Wat
and rough-hewn Stonehenge slabs;
plumb Doric columns for strength of reason,
square them with stern Protestant planks,
and illuminate all with Chartres' jeweled windows
and the brilliant lamps of science.
Yes here we build temples in our hearts.
Side by side we come,
scavenging the ages for wisdom,
cobbling together as best we may
the stones of a thousand altars, leveling with doubt,
framing with skepticism,
measuring by logic,
sinking firm foundations in the earth
as we reach for the heavens.
Here we build temples in our heartsó
a temple for each heart,
a village of temples,
none shading another,
connected by well-worn paths,
built alike on sacred ground.