Even when I have something worth worrying about, I have to say that it takes a lot of worry to stop me sleeping; having said that, I doubt there’s a night goes by without me waking up at some point. 2 years ago, however, I did manage to sleep through an earthquake, but that’s another story.
When I do wake in the night I usually just let my mind drift until I doze off again; last night I found myself reflecting on the peace and quiet of that moment. My wife was sleeping by me; two out of our three cats were in the usual place, and Jarvis (almost certainly the cause of my wakefullness) was wandering around the bed trying to find a place to sleep. It was quiet, warm. I was incredibly comfortable, and wasn’t bothered whether I went back to sleep or not.
I love that feeling; it’s the state of mind in which I count my blessings. Yesterday I learnt of the death of a young woman known and clearly loved by several of my friends. I found myself thinking last night of all the other folks my wife and I know, younger than we are, who’ve had ill health over recent months and years; almost a reversal of the natural order of things. I thought of their families, and of my own mortality. Not in a gloomy way – almost a matter of fact acceptance and realisation that my presence in the world and awareness of that presence is one of the many ‘everyday miracles’ we take for granted.
Jarvis settles for a while by my side; there’s silence in the world outside and it’s still pitch black. A moment of light – that usually indicates that the neighbour’s porch-light’s been triggered by the passage of some animal or other. It also starts me realising that there are a few things in my life I’m not going to manage. I’ll not be an astronaut; I won’t become a world famous political or business figure; I might make millionaire with a lot of luck and the odd break. On the up-side, though, I’ve done all sorts of stuff and had a good time doing it. I have a wonderful wife, beautiful God-daughter and niece who I love dearly, and other folks in my life who I love and respect and who, I think, have the same feelings for me.
In other words, I’ve counted my blessings and found them good. When it comes down to it, I think it’s the ‘small stuff’ of life that can bring most pleasure. Like being warm, comfortable, with people you love.
Whatever else today may bring, I’m happy to have experienced that time of quiet in the middle of the night, a time when I knew that, in the words of Browning:
“God’s in his Heaven —
All’s right with the world!”
and I start this new day content.