GOOD NIGHT WALES
In the summer months, daylight begins to tiptoe through my bedroom windows around four in the morning. My eyes pop open, I look at the clock and pray that I fall back to sleep again.
Wales in the early morning hours is a miracle of nature. The air is cool. The mountains on the horizon are clearly defined. Birds are beginning to tweet and after an especially rainy night, they’re digging for breakfast in the soggy green grass below. Our bird-restaurant (actually a multi-tiered bird feeder chock full of treats) welcomes its first customers of the day.
The open French doors part gently as crisp outside air steals into the room. A fly visits, then leaves. Paul’s light snores create a rhythm to the morning. I should get up.
I have a new plan for those morning hours. If I cannot fall back to sleep I’ll turn on my computer, brew a cup of coffee and write. The morning silence accented by the rising sun should be a good inspiration for me to continue plodding through the book I am trying to finish. To date, no new words have appeared on my pages.
Four o’clock. Look at the time. Sleep. Five fifteen. Look at the time. Sleep. Six twenty. Look at the clock. Sleep. Seven o’clock. GET OUT OF BED ALREADY!
I used to be amused by the old people who lived near me in South Florida. They would be up, walking, exercising, drinking the inexpensive coffee from McDonald’s – long before we sane souls even considered getting out of bed. These were the same old folks who merrily stood in line at local restaurants at four in the afternoon, eagerly awaiting their early bird special. Sure they had to eat early – they’d be in bed, asleep, by eight at night!
Now I am one of them. An old person. My eyelids start to sag in the eight o’clock hour, just as BBC One is kicking into gear with its evening entertainment. Thank goodness for the “record” button. I put my head onto Paul’s lap. He scratches my back. I fall asleep. By nine o’clock I’m struggling to climb the stairs to my bed. It welcomes me as it has for years (yes, I brought it with me from New York to Florida to Wales). The fluffy duvet waiting for company. But I force myself to stay awake. Read. Anything to stave off the passage into slumberland.
Outside my open window, the farmland of Wales is dotted with slumbering sheep. Birds are silent. The hush of life rings into the room. It’s a beautiful sound – silence. And so I sleep. And the cycle of my night begins again. Perhaps one day I’ll actually climb out of bed when the sky is changing shades, turn on my computer and add a few words of my saga to the page. Perhaps. But not tonight.