The drumming had stopped and my awareness returned to the moment at hand. An indigo canvas was stretched across the sky, painted with trillions of glittering stars. The moon, a glowing silver crescent, hung low on the horizon.

I looked down at my bare feet standing in the cold, dewy grass; it was soothing. The drumming started again and we employed our rattles in unison. We started singing as our footsteps fell into a gentle rhythm, forming a circle around the fire.

I was reminded of earlier that day when we had gathered wood for this fire. We sang then too, our voices entangled with the shimmering heat waves that rose from the ground on that hot, sunny afternoon. When the time came to build the fire, each log was offered with a prayer for the Earth and all her creatures: the 4-leggeds, the winged creatures, the whales and the dolphins. The tree people and the stone people were included in the ceremony, among many, many others seen and unseen.

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