So tomorrow are finals and I’ve got myself in a tizzy – nervous stomach, lips are sore apparently from chewing them, muscles tired from overexertion and mind reeling from final efforts at memorization. Your basic it’s-finals-tomorrow-and-I-feel-unprepared nervousness.
As a last ditch effort at relaxation before I headed to bed, I swung by a favorite old blog that I’ve read and re-read about a hundred times. I’ve read it so often it’s almost like a favorite bedtime story as a child, the familiar rhythm and rhyme of encouragement and empowerment. I felt myself physically relax within minutes of finishing of the poem, the stomach ache ceasing, my muscles unclenching, and my jaw releasing. It’s pretty amazing, better than any miracle drug I’m sure.
This realization brought me back to sweet childhood memories of falling asleep, all nestled warmly in my bed. I always talked a younger sibling into sharing a bed as I was madly afraid of the dark, and now I think back to curling up, face to face, close enough to touch but not close enough to disturb my little sisters, listening closely to the cadence of my mom’s sweet, tender voice as she read a familiar story. I remember the feel of the blankets and the smell of the pillow. I remember the exhaustion my body carried, releasing into the night slowly as the book turned the pages. I remember pretending to fall asleep so Mom would turn the light out for us after she kissed our foreheads.
Thinking back I can still hear the crinkle of pages, the shutting of dresser drawers or closet doors in the room next to mine. I can remember the warmth under the blankets and the chill in the air. I can remember the way the light trickled into our room from the hall after she switched off the lights. I remember the sound her feet made as she padded up the carpeted stairs. Eventually, if the stories didn’t lull me to sleep, deciphering my mom’s foot falls from my dad’s on the floor above would do the trick.
So now, as an adult, I found myself physically and mentally exhausted and turning to a familiar comfort: reading a bedtime story. I will let its story guide my dreams tonight, and hopefully allow a good night’s rest.
Peace to you all tonight. Thanks for swinging by.