I admire how easily dogs fall asleep.
Is it their freedom from worries? Or could it be their lack of preoccupation with tasks that lie in wait for them? Or perhaps it’s their constant practice at the fine art of good sleeping?
As I contemplate my morning readings, Maddie snores by my side with nary a care. Her body forms to the sides of the chair, her head rests on its arm. I look around to see that it’s this way with my other dogs too — all are completely at rest.
I wish I could rest this easily. I didn’t sleep well last night, though I have no worries or preoccupations that I can point to as sleep-nappers. Sometimes I just wake up at the indecent hour of four a.m. — and no matter how much I toss and turn to put myself back to sleep, sleep evades me.
Often, Max hears me stirring, and when he’s not already in bed with us, he jumps up to keep me company. Without need of invitation, Max drapes all forty-six pounds of his body on top of mine. I wonder if he’s trying to anchor my tossing with his weight or trying to bring me the comfort of his presence.
Perhaps Max just desires the comfort of my presence, since a minute later, my poodle comforter is snoring comfortably while I lie underneath him hot and wide awake. I feel Max’s body form to mine, with the full force of his weight shifting to me.
With no intention to do so, I begin to think thoughts. Thinking removes the last hope of my return to sleep. But thoughts come and this one was important to me, as I compare Max at rest to prayer at best. My dark night encounter with Max invites me to grow still, settle into a warm, comfy spot and allow whatever is weighing me down shift to God.
With prayers expressed and forth-six pounds of weight shifted, I shake awake Max to begin my day. Max is always happy to get an early start, as my day begins with his food bowl. I feed the dogs, make my coffee and find a comfortable chair to hold me. And there, resting in God’s word, I too fall sound asleep, in spite of the coffee. Thirty minutes later, I wake refreshed, ready for the day.
Now, with morning chores behind me and no worries or preoccupations pressing upon me, I’m wondering if I might indulge in a dog nap or two. Already I’m missing one good nap party behind me.
With the day still young and my dogs true party animals, I’ve no doubt there will be other nap parties to crash.
Terry M. Clark said:
Now this is journalism…poetic, timely, universal, human, and intriguing. Thanks.
Thank you Terry.
My son Kyle is a professional writing student at O.U.; — praise God, he graduates in May — Kyle always offers to share with me what he’s learned. Why don’t I take advantage of his generosity?
Instead, I just get up and practice every morning, knowing the practice itself as good, but always unsure about the result.
Well this week’s Gazette had an article about a writing program at a downtown college that meets at the library. And so I’m thinking I’ll check into this next fall — after I’ve completed my spiritual direction course of study. It would be good to know what the elements of good writing are. I like how you are able to rattle off a list — just like that.
Thanks for your encouragement and for making this post a teachable moment.
I have trouble with sleeping myself; comes in waves. Last night I took pills, which didn’t work till about 2am…
When I was visiting my parents in my twenties, my father use to ask whether I had enjoyed a good night’s sleep. At the time, I thought he was just making conversation — but with the benefit of hindsight, I can now see that my father, then approaching 50, was likely already experiencing sleeping woes. I hate to think my best sleeping years are behind me!
My youngest daughter has a different memory, this one relating to my mother’s take on an inability to sleep — Kara recalls Mom telling her that is she couldn’t fall asleep, it was because she hadn’t worked hard enough that day! Mom definitely sounds like the farmer’s daughter that she was.
I find both parent’s insinuations to be poor bedfellows.
Here’s hoping sleep finds us better tonight.
It’s amazing to me how many blog entries focus on sleep, and it’s made me count my blessings in that regard. I go to bed, I go to sleep. When morning comes, I wake up, and if I show some inclination to sleep just a little long, Miss Dixie makes sure I know that it’s breakfast time – her breakfast, at least.
On one trip with Mom between here and Kansas City, I woke in the morning to find her staring at me, sitting on the edge of the motel bed. “I hate you”, she said. As it turns out, she’d asked me a question the night before and when she didn’t get an answer, she turned around to ask the question again. I hadn’t answered because I’d already fallen asleep 😉 That’s pretty much my routine – I hope it continues forever!
I talk about sleep (or fitful sleep) a lot.
Yes, you are blessed to sleep without interruptions. My husband is the same way, and I probably have been envious of his rest at least a time or two.
But no more. I’m just glad he can sleep. And I’m glad for anyone who can sleep uninterrupted.
Lovely, lovely sleep. May you both sleep well forever. And I’ll settle for whatever I can get.