The Cedarville Review 2024

THE CEDARVILLE REVIEW 15 forward to going to worship nights— even staying longer to sing extra songs. I wish I could leave worship rested rather than exhausted. I wish my mind didn’t scream against live music and crowded spaces. I wish community worship wasn’t bolted behind environments that I struggle to cope with. We’re told to make a joyful noise. I struggle to rejoice at the crackle of speakers, pounding bass music I can feel through the bottom of my shoes, fl ashing white and blue lights, the low buzz of conversations in the row behind me, shrieking electric guitars, the press of bodies around me, the waves of heat and sweat that clog my throat like cotton, and music so loud that it doesn’t sound like music anymore. Just clanging. But there are some sounds that I do rejoice over. The way my roommate says my name when she hasn’t seen me all day, choruses of clacking laptop keys as my friends and I write together, my boyfriend’s voice as he sings hymns, rain pounding, thunder rumbling, Rachel’s cackles through our shared wall, my rabbit’s honks, my cat’s chirps, Alayna’s cadence as she reads stories she’s written, the laughtersoaked way my aunt says “oh my gosh, that’s hilarious” after a funny anecdote, nails clicking rhythmically against wood, toad croaks, cicada songs, the chickadee’s “kay-dee, kay-dee,” the scratch of ink across notebook paper, the snap of my grandpa’s motor brand playing cards as they’re shuffl ed together, the jumbled greetings and goodbyes from my parents over a video call, the rapping of lake water against the boat house’s algaed concrete, muffl ed ukulele notes through the dorm wall, crackling embers that