A few weeks ago, I wrote a poem called "An Ode to Sand," in which I praised the sand for all of its gritty glory. A huge reason why many people go to the beach is to see the water, never the sand. I personally believe that it is for the sand why many people love the water.
Today, I want you to write about something people hate, but need so badly.
Write about something people overlook that is really beautiful or significant.
Bring that object, thing, person (even) to the light.
Cheers to loving the things we take for granted or simply overlook.
Sleep is something so beautiful that we overlook it until it is gone. I have a couple of friends who complain about their sleep habit as too short and in one case painfully absent. A few weeks ago I came across an article where the writer spoke briefly about how our ancestors slept.
Apparently our ancestors went to sleep with the cycle of light. Their cycles were something like this: sleep for 3 to 4 hours, get up for 2 or so hours and then back to sleep to rise at dawn. You can read the article here if you would like to know more.
I love my sleep. I love the feeling of dead sleep where my mind and body are deeply nestled into the mattress. I go after sleep. Pointedly. My goal is to be in bed by 9 P.M. I listen to my book on tape or a podcast or look at facebook or emails but I will do all of that while I am supine. My personal thought is that if I am resting my body, my mind will follow. Most nights I am probably asleep by at least 10 P.M. and then I awake naturally between 6 and 6:30 P.M. which gives me at least 8 hours sleep.
Sleep is so delicious. I love stretching out in the bed, feeling the weight of my body sink into the mattress. My pets sleep with me and seem to feel frustrated if I change our routine. Some nights I will take a little longer before I finally settle. But once we are on the bed my furry ones expect me to get into position immediately. I lie on my right side and Bette, the 4 pound chihuahua sleeps in the crook of my knee. Davis, the 9 pound chihuahua, sleeps either at my back, leaning into me or in front of me, leaning into me. They are restless until I get into position. We have a lump on sleep in my bed.
When I am listening to the podcast or the book I notice my body goes through a couple of cycles before sleep. One, my favorite, is the final release where I know I am about to fall asleep. I wait for it. I love it. I smile when it comes. This release feels like a friend. It seems to be saying goodnight. It seems to be comforting me. If it had a voice it might say, “All is well, your body is doing well, you had a good day, you are contented and free to let go, the world will be here when you arise. Nite-nite dear one.” Shortly after, I am in slumber-land.
I look for the release. I wait for it to come. Some nights it takes its time. Some nights I am a little more wound that usual or I am restless, perhaps I ate something that is disagreeing with me or I watched something on the TV that is stirring me or I am thinking about someone I love, with worry, silly me or I am excited about something. It is those times that the release takes its time. Paradoxically, it is something I have control over. This ethereal thing, the release, is something that will come if I let myself relax. This friend is someone who will come to me if I let it, if I surrender to its advances, trust it, release to it. I must release to the release. And I do. I love when it comes. I smile and almost say thank you knowing that unconsciousness is soon to follow and take me to slumber-land.
Many people suffer insomnia. I sometimes will have short bouts where I sleep less restful than others but I can honestly say it is very rare. I sleep better at my daughter’s house. There are more people in the house and my sleep comes more quickly and more soundly. I like having people in the house and look forward, as an aside, to my rental to be full again. It helps me.
We each spend 8 or so hours of our days sleeping but it is one of the things we take for granted. We don’t talk about it either but I bet it would be a great conversation over a nice meal with a group of friends. Let me know if you have that conversation. I would enjoy hearing about it.