Do you ever have trouble sleeping? I have trouble sleeping, and I think it’s a common thing. My problem is both that I often can’t go to sleep, and that I don’t really want to. Also, I usually wake very early in the morning, sometimes due to a call from nature, other times just because I wake up and can’t fall back to sleep. Thus, and therefore, I rarely feel completely rested.
I’m beginning to think it may be a ‘which came first’ situation, like the chicken and the egg. Do I stay up late to avoid sleeping, get up early because I can’t get back to sleep, and then feel tired all day? Or do I feel tired all day, take an afternoon nap, and avoid going to sleep at a ‘normal’ bedtime on purpose?
For me, the trade-off is worth it, in a way. I love the late evening, when others in my home have headed to bed, the TV has been turned off, and even the parakeet has stopped chirping. I also love the early morning, often between three and four a.m., when others in my home are still sound asleep, the TV is still off, that bird still has its head tucked under its wing, and even the sun hasn’t gotten up yet. Cars rarely pass by our home at that time of morning, and the world just seems to be at peace. That last part is, at least, until I see the morning news.
My cravings for these late evening and early morning times, even at the expense of rest, stems from my absolute love of the ‘sounds of silence’ those hours bring. Those hours give me both time to think, and to ‘not think.’ They are when I come up with my best column topics and novel plots. They are times for prayer and for thoughts of appreciation for all that I have. Sometimes they are times for planning the coming day, but not usually. That can wait until I am actually ‘awake’ and in full command (sure) of my thoughts.
Those sounds of silence times are helpful, maybe even more so, when no planning and little thinking is done at all. In those times my tired mind gets rest, even if my body does not, as it puts down the heavy work of weighing the value and use of incoming information. Then, when the new dawn arrives, I can often think more clearly, more kindly. (Even if I might need that afternoon nap.)
There is a little poem which states:
Your mind is a garden.
Your thoughts are the seeds.
You can grow flowers.
Or you can grow weeds.
Here’s to listening to the sounds of silence. And here’s to growing flowers.