The song is constant. A drone in my ears on the back porch and the click of the lighter briefly keeping time. The summer solstice is the high holiday for the shriek and roar of life and the cicadas will not let me forget it. I found one of their golden shells today clinging to a wall. It was empty but it reminded me of a life being lived a little bigger elsewhere. The song and thrum are constant. Life is constant. This year, I am praying to god to let me succumb to it. I stopped speaking with god but the crickets kept chirping and so god never stopped speaking to me. How arrogant to assume we know anything. How arrogant to think that someone can define god and how arrogant to think you are an individual separate from the fecund pond of life that is god. God is a genderless being that follows alongside the river of existence and is the river of existence. I do not have any idea who or what God is. I feel that when I am empty I am god. I started speaking with god again. Summer Solstice. The holiday that roars like a herd of cicadas and shrieks like a child jumping from a rope into the water below. Tonight I dream of that which feels like the water, feels like the moment you jump, the relief of having relinquishing control to the air and the thrill of choosing to fall. That communion with the particles all around you and the elements of the body greeting the elements of the earth. I light a candle and an herbal cigarette-chamomile, red raspberry leaves, uva ursi and lavender wrapped in a thin smoking paper. The smoke curls seductively under the porch light. The elements of the earth. Tonight I speak with god and I pray; pray for everything that burns bright in the rooms of my heart and for anything that creates more light in the world. In the world I see so much exploited for so little gain: forests removed for products we don’t need, people never taught about the function (let alone pleasure) of their bodies, nature dismissed as inconvenient, people dismissed as unnecessary. A brighter world must be possible. It is the summer solstice. A high holiday for shrieking in hope and protest. High holiday for those that we see in the corners of our eyes and the energy of the sun and the heat rising off the soil to remind us that there is more to everything than we can see with eyes scanning the world for fact and gain. I pray that we can tune in to magic without rejecting logic, cradled in the space between them where the truth exists. I pray that we can unsee the separation between us and everything else that lives. I pray that we can see ourselves as valid, our actions as meaningful, without thinking of ourselves as important. I pray to dissolve my own ego. I pray that we can drop the hierarchy. I pray that we can raise ourselves into a state of love. I pray that neither technology nor money will become our god. God already exists. The sun and the blood and the rolling sea and the summer storm with its purple lightning and the gentle smoke and the insects and the scream and the insects and everything that breathes and eats and grows and dies is speaking to each other, to us, to me. It is the summer solstice. I pray that I can learn to listen. Amen.