Nights begin well. I fall asleep to a favorite audible book, usually tucked in by a dog and a purring cat. I move into sweet dreams. But, sometime after midnight, I wake up. Sometimes, the dog paws frantically to be let into the kitchen for a drink. Other times, it’s a sound or a dream. It’s puzzling magic.
Back in bed, the dog settles in once again, groaning happily and putting his head on my legs. The cat snuggles into a warm, purring puddle of fur on the pillow next to me. And I try to sleep. But I can’t.
I listen to more of my book. I count my blessings. Still, no sleep. Outside, it’s still. There’s to be rain later, and most animals and insects are squirreled away in a safe place to ride out the storm. In the distance, I hear the cry of a fox and a coyote yipping as they scare their prey from the underbrush. If I listen closely, a deer may still wander about for a late-night snack before settling in before dawn. The deer have a heavy snort of breath before they run back into the woods. I have often thought they are laughing at me as they munch through my garden. I try listening to the book again or working on my own story’s plot. Sleep still does not come.
I have a love/hate relationship with this sleepless time. I love the peace and quiet and the magic of the two and four-legged family members sleeping and dreaming in the household. The sounds of their breathing are soothing. They breathe in the night and breathe out peacefulness. Their night noises are comforting. I love the time to myself. I dislike the weariness and the plodding sense of time in the wee hours of the night when I toss and turn.
It never fails to happen that when I am sure I can sleep again or begin to relish this magical time, the alarm rings frantically for me to arise to begin another day. But, being alive for a new day is good. I pull myself from the magic of the night to begin my next adventure.