Friday, June 3, 2011

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

It’s dark, and the retro, red bedside radio             hisses with the effort to draw in a signal we can hear. The orange light of its dial seems so bright, yet disappears when something blocks its beam, like a small balsam pillow, a fragrant Maine souvenir from decades long ago.

Rumbling thunder and scratchy radio bursts of lightning warn of the coming storm. The patter of sudden rain against glass and muffled beats on roof tell us it's arrived. The text message sent a while ago of severe thunderstorm warning sort of helps take the edge off our fears. But tornadoes near and far have spooked us, proof of climate change to most, except the ones caught up in firm denial it could be so, too sure that thinking man might harm the earth to that extent betrays some weaker values of kindness, responsibility or peace.

A hot city week ensues with air heavy and humid, and indoor air too chilled to really feel that good, but better than the sticky sweat of overheat in rush-hour subway car or walking up the street as if wading through a swamp. To hurry to the country to escape the heat is a savored blessing, and even though I worked from home, out my window was a woodchuck and its young, munching tender leaves that we'd call weeds but they adore, black triangle noses twitching toward the wind and bending low to eat more of the greens.

Then last night a fresh night free of storm and heat, a chilly mountain night to sleep with windows open, letting in the fresh, clean air.
“Good sleeping weather,” we say,
and yawning morning greetings next day, agree it was just that.

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