|PHOTO: Mike Hulsebus|
I have no idea why I can fly, but I'm exultant. The soft, late-summer air sweeps my hair back. Ah-h-h-h...
Wait, what's that? Another sound interrupts the whispers of air brushing past my ears. I slow down. Instead of falling, I kind of dissolve back into the air and ground, settling gently into a dark, quiet place. But still that sound…My God, it's shrill, insistent!
My eyes crack open just far enough to make out the blurred red digits: 7:30. I reach over and shut off the alarm. Damn, the air's cold! I snatch my arm back under the covers and reach over to my wife's side of the bed, forgetting that she's already been up for two hours.
There's a certain kind of stretch...that seems to
send relief to every fiber of my being.
I'm a pretty active sleeper; it seems like I change positions every few minutes all night, finding no more than momentary relief from the pain—the generalized kind often attributed to some forms of arthritis.
I'm used to it. But there's a certain kind of stretch, one of those luxuriant, full-body stretches one reserves for waking up, that seems to send relief to every fiber of my being. I don't want it to end. These mornings, when I have no pressing deadlines, the bliss of being pain free keeps pulling me back into the arms of Morpheus.
Why, I wonder, can't I get this to happen all night?
Thank you, God, for another precious day, a blank slate I can write on in any way I wish.
Now, my body wants to sink deep into the mattress, but my mind is waking up. I say a prayer. Thank you, God, for another precious day, a blank slate I can write on in any way I wish. I just pray it will be something worth reading.
With this thought I see myself and my situation as one sometimes does when looking in on someone else's life, romanticizing it, coveting the freedom and clarity of purpose one imagines they must be enjoying.
This radiant outlook is a rare and fleeting one for me; once I get up, I know other concerns will begin to blur it. But at least I've caught a glimpse, once again, of what it looks like. I suspect that's more than many people are getting this morning.
I use my elbow to lever my torso up, swing my legs out and sit there, trying to hang onto that blessed feeling. Something deep inside me tells me it's a clue to the secret of happiness...if not the ultimate meaning of life.
With that lofty thought, I shuffle to the bathroom.