|a print that hangs by my bed|
I'm a good sleeper. I go to bed on the late side, after writing and reading for two to three hours, and when I put down my book and turn out the light, I turn to my side and go to sleep. I wake up seven or so hours later when the alarm clock light begins flashing, and I have no trouble turning it off and then lying there doing a short meditation. I know, this is a blessing. This morning, though, I woke up at exactly 4 am in full thought, and it seemed like the thoughts were exactly the same as they had been when I'd fallen asleep. I had gone over the day, an upsetting one, actually, worried for my boy Oliver who is so unhappy at school. As those of you who work the early morning shift know, 4 am is the time when all worries are magnified and seemingly insurmountable. They don't call it the darkest hour before dawn for nothing. It also seems that telling oneself that worrying at 4 am is stupid is useless, and after fifteen minutes or so of rising terror that might have, could have, would have tipped over into despair, I got up and crept into the boys' bedroom and over to Oliver who was sleeping peacefully. I stood beside the bed and touched his exposed hand, curled softly on top of the cover. He rustled a bit but continued to breathe deeply, so I stood there with my hand on his and breathed deeply, my eyes closed. I prayed for peace for him when the sun rose, for strength for me to love and be compassionate. I prayed for ease while he continued to breathe, in and out, his face still the baby's that I'd rocked every night and sung to years ago. When I left the room, light was curling around the blinds, but I climbed back into bed, closed my eyes and went back to sleep.