nighttime: (noun) the time of darkness between one day and the next; the time of day when no light form the sun can be seen; origin: 14th century

Sleep is something that has pervaded me for much of my life. Not by my choice, mind you. To know what it feels like to have no sleep when your body is desperately begging for it but refuses to give it to you is to know what it feels like to have your body betray you.

Ironic how I married a woman who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

Literally. In seconds if she is ready to. It’s one of the many things I love about her. She can allow herself rest when she truly needs it. What if we could all do that? Just simply close our eyes and just drift off to allow our body to relax, our breath to slow a little, our body temperature to drop a few degrees, and all our our tendons, muscles, brain, everything, to just relax.

To know that it is humanly possible to truly relax in a country where relaxing isn’t valued but to keep on going, to keep on working and being present is so highly valued, is frustrating. So, for me, nighttime is the one time when there is solace.  I look forward to the nighttime, all day long.

If I can sleep.

Which much of the time I can’t. And that’s when my brain takes off like a dog who’s been let loose form the leash. As I lay there dangling between slumber and genuine alertness, my mind goes through the day; I literally give speeches in my head to myself about whatever. I think about the things that I could have done or said, places I should have gone, things to do for tomorrow, work. And hopefully, if I have worn myself out enough during that day, I can allow myself to let go of these exhortations and just breathe.

Maybe it’s not about sleep as the thing that enables us to let go, but the act of letting go of these thoughts and worries is what brings on sleep. Maybe letting go is what brings on relaxation, slumber, slowing breath, calm. Nighttime is when I can start to let go, so my body and brain can reinvigorate themselves. I love the nighttime because maybe I can let go and relax.

Most of the time.

I’m getting closer to letting go of my penny. I’m looking forward to the relaxation of Easter, where I can rest in the resurrection and new life.

Yes, I want to relax in new life.

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