Early morning sleeplessness turns into a moment of perspective.
Some of us, as we began to age, have problems sleeping through the night, as I am sure many of you will attest. This was one of those nights for me, and after tossing and turning trying to return to the dream state, I finally decided it wasn’t worth the effort and just got out of bed and started my morning coffee ritual.
After pouring my first cup, I settled into my easy chair and grabbed my tablet to check for any urgent messages I may have received during the nighttime hours (there never are any, but I still check each morning), and then viewed the latest news headlines.
Finding that activity less than stimulating, I put down the tablet, grabbed the slightly cooler ceramic cup of goodness, and began to look out the big window at the back side of our home. I was actually staring into an almost black canvas, punctured only by the neighbor’s security light on the other side of the wooded area that separates our houses.
It’s a cool morning, and one of the few sounds I notice, as no one else is yet awake, is the sound of rushing air in the heating system as the temperature rises slightly to warm the house, and maybe the sound of the refrigerator going through its cooling cycle.
As they both cycle off, I become aware of the rhythmic barking of someone’s dog in the distance, and I start to wonder about the cause for his concern. Could it be an unexpected visitor passing by the house on foot, or perhaps a wild animal that stopped by to examine the trash cans sitting beside the road, knowing the dog is no threat because of his pen fence.
Sometimes our dog will just sit in the floor and stare at the ceiling, as if he sees something hovering there. I wonder if dogs can see things that we humans cannot see, or have lost the ability to notice over the eons.
Still gazing out the window, the pink, orange and red hues begin to appear on the horizon as my position on this rocky planet turns towards the ball of fire in the sky to which we owe our ability to inhabit this place. I marvel that the shifting of our axis by a few degrees can change our delicate balance from the boiling heat of the summer season to the frigid cold of the winter.
Now, I can see the outlines of the trees, previously obscured in darkness, with a few scraggly leaves still hanging on as if in defiance of the passing of the season, and I notice the slightest of a breeze that is causing them to seemingly wave at any passersby.
In what seems like the passage of only a few minutes, the vision of the portrait painted by Mother Nature comes to life, like watching a photograph being developed. Almost suddenly, I see a squirrel leaping from limb to limb, a bird stopping by for a drink at the half-frozen birdbath, and even start to notice traffic sounds picking up on the highway.
In less time than it takes me to write these few lines, the orange and pink colors are gone from the sky, replaced by a pale blue, and the sun is now glowing white instead of a red ball. A new day has dawned, as millions have in the past.
As the day wears on, there will be new challenges and issues to face. I’m glad I had the opportunity to stop for a few moments and appreciate the things I have described, and I would encourage you to take a few moments to look at the good things in your own lives. There may be more of them than you think.