Sleep’s Unconditional Care

I was in bed reading before eight. Out by eight thirty. The room was cold, but I wore wool – shoulders to toes. I have no idea if I dreamt, but I woke clear this morning and took a longer walk than usual. Soft rain is perfect running weather really, but I am easing back into full throttle and letting the desire build. It was enough to let Leonard tug and sniff and trot past the duck pond.

I am trying to re-frame my habits. I seriously avoid all the buzz words like “self-care”, but I am tired of even subconsciously pushing myself for “self-improvement”.

I want to be treated with care. No one has to be good enough to take in what the forest has to give; if we are lucky enough to have access, we only need to allow it. No one needs to show a report card to accept what good comes.

I believe that a large, subconscious part of me considers day to day living an obligation. Maybe this psychological bed holds roots from my formative years sitting on a pew two times a week: I will be judged. Everything is recorded on a score card and I need to work hard to pass. Win? No: just make sure to pass. You’ll be lucky to pass.

When Mary Oliver asked what we will do with our one wild and precious life, I doubt she meant it as a veiled threat, though sometimes it feels like one.

It seems that every thought I have that is open (here is a gift), closes down again (prove you are worthy of it). Life as a transaction between us and God – or the universe.

A couple of times a month I get insomnia. Sometimes I am stuck in rumination: counting dramas, counting cows considering dramas in a Far Side meta-perspective of my progress in this (ahem) “journey”. So when sleep comes soft and easy, as it has this week, I surrender.

I am letting dreamless sleep be my teacher. The silent instructor, wiping the slate clear every night.

No need for a score card or documentation.

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