I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately.
Until recently, every time my head hit the pillow, my eyes immediately shut, and I was off to Never-Never Land. I couldn’t even read one page of a book, and I finally resorted to keeping only magazines by my bedside.
Lately, things have changed.
I awaken for no particular reason and can’t go back to sleep, usually throwing covers off my hot body only to reach for them minutes later to recover from a chill.
It seems every time I’m awake, my husband, Tommy, is too. Apparently, it’s contagious.
We all have things to worry about, and I’m no exception. But, I hate those nights when you toss and turn and roll and tumble, while thinking about all the issues you don’t have time to ponder over during the day.
I read once that if you keep a pen and paper at your bedside and write down worries as you think about them, they don’t seem so terrible in the morning.
I did that for a time. I do think it’s true, but I haven’t put the pen and paper by my bedside yet because I hope this not sleeping is just a phase.
Time will tell.
The Sunday night before Labor Day, I awoke in the middle of the night to an unusual sound, a very unusual sound … that of a light drizzling rain.
I was so overjoyed that I tiptoed upstairs in the dark, opened the windows in a guest bedroom, and laid down to listen to the gentle pitter-patter.
I was afraid that if I stayed in our bedroom and opened the window, I would awaken Tommy, who was snoring away in deep sleep.
So, I went upstairs to listen to the quiet.
After about 10 minutes, I realized I really couldn’t hear the rain because the air conditioner kept running.
Despite the relatively lower temperature outside, the house was still full of a month’s worth of 90-degree hot air and the drone of the air conditioner was drowning out the rainfall.
I finally got up to turn off the air conditioner. Even if I did get hot, I wanted to listen to that long-awaited rain. Minutes after turning off the air conditioner, all I could hear was the tick-tock, tick-tock of a pesky alarm clock.
Was I going to try to condition myself not to hear it or get up again? Would I get up to put it under a pillow or into a drawer?
Conditioning didn’t work, so after 10 minutes I got up yet again.
I then enjoyed the sounds of the soft easy breezes and the silent fall of the rain on the streets before I eventually drifted off to sleep.
Shortly after dawn, I was awakened by yet another too-familiar sound: the pitter-patter of critters dancing in the attic over my bed.
I could tell they were small because experience had proven what large ones sound like. Large ones sound like four chipmunks having a bowling party directly overhead.
In addition to the pesky noise, it also irked me because earlier this spring we spent several weeks – almost months well into the summer – and many hundreds of dollars to try to eliminate them. We spent a lot of time setting traps and cages, barriers and gutter guards to catch them, and we even had to replace insulation because we saw rat droppings.
One of the workers helping us even fell through a ceiling onto the ground floor. We thought that had done the trick.
But that somewhat “peaceful” Sunday night proved that not to be the case at all.
There is a saying that the “darkest hour is before dawn.” I believe it to be true.
But despite all this, I enjoyed listening to the rain. It was the night before a holiday, and I didn’t have to be anywhere the next morning, which further sweetened the sounds. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I went back Monday to listen again.
Even the disappointment of hearing those squirrels at play for a little while didn’t diminish my pleasure.
And the promise of more rain and a little cooler weather offset the other petty nuisances.
Here’s hoping those rains and winds bring us a beautiful fall.
‘Til next week.