On night time

It is night. Cold, cheerless darkness surrounds me. I push myself further into my bed, feeling the soft, warm folds of cotton against my skin. I lie there wondering many things. Should I reach for an extra blanket? Is the sudden coldness I will feel on my arm as I stretch it out from under the covers worth the benefit of a slightly warmer night? Instant comfort or a better future? I decide on the latter and slowly, slowly move my arm up towards the edge of the duvet. As my fingers touch the cold expanse above me a sudden reaction pulls my hand back inside my white, cotton cocoon. I will remain here. Perhaps later, when the cold has reached further down the bed, I will try again. But for now, I don’t want to imagine anything but the soothing warmth. I turn over, being careful not to disturb the neatly, crafted ball of sheets around me. This is my home, this is where I belong. But in my safe, bundled space, I start to hear different noises. I pay attention to the world outside my cocoon. I hear my own breathing, very loud in the stillness of night. I hear the tick, tick, tocking of my two comfort clocks. As I notice these sounds, they become one. Unconsciously I begin to breath in time to the speaking of the clocks. My own personal symphony finds a new companion. The sound of air entering and leaving my body mingles with the steady, constant noise of my clocks. This, for me, is security.

I move my pillow to one side. Even though I am longing to stay away from the cold, I can’t resist the coolness of the next part of pillow. But as I move my cheek across the smooth billows of whiteness, I realise that the coolness isn’t just from the pillow. I find, to my astonishment, that tears are slowly making their way down my face. I stay still with slight shock as I contemplate this new revelation. As I lie there I hear the rain splattering on the window sill. 1…2…3…4…5… I count the raindrops as they match my tears, falling faster now. Drop for drop, old water for new water, skies releasing their tension as I release mine. Perhaps they too were not expecting to cry on this cold night.

I listen for more sounds and am rewarded by a solitary bird singing a merry, if subdued song. Does he not realise the time? Maybe he has a good reason to sing. He has just found a beautiful bird to be the mother of his children. Or he has just eaten a good meal. I don’t know. But this little bird with his little song throws my thoughts in another direction. If this bird can find something to sing about on this dark night, why can’t I? Are my feelings too complex for that or should I be tasting and savouring life’s pleasures? Here in my cocoon, I find other pleasures hard to grasp. I snuggle down further enjoying the feeling of comfort. Right now, I don’t want to grasp anything else. I want to dwell on this moment, on the quiet, on the noise, on the still, calm dark. I look over at the window and trace the outline of the windows with my eyes. I would do it with my finger but Cold is still outside my burrow and I do not want to invite him in.

As I look at the window I am aware of more sounds. I have to strain to hear the solitary car on a road some while away. Somewhere, someone is journeying. To where? I don’t know. For what purpose? I don’t know. But my ignorance does not disturb me. I am here, here in my nighttime cocoon, here in my solitary burrow, here in my safe, warm bed. The tears have dried and I turn over for the last time, feeling again the cool expanse of pillow before me. I slowly, blissfully drift off into a new world called Slumber.

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