Saturday, January 11, 2014

When I Close My Eyes, I Can't Sleep

When my eyes are open, I am nothing but sleepy. But sometimes, that is the nature of a very rainy day. It has gotten warmer here, in this small valley, much warmer than the Arctic breeze that blew through early this week. It is also much more tropical; heavy rains rule.

The dog woke me early this morning, to go outside. He avoided the question altogether yesterday, by not drinking water. He hates rain, and being wet. Nevertheless, I took him out, once for a long walk, and once for a pit stop.

The apartment is quiet this morning. The cats and dog sleep heavily, savoring the idle time, blankets, and the electric heater. I picked yesterday to be idle: I have made plans today to go out in this gusty weather. Plans that I am glad to have made. It will cheer me to be social. And it's not that I feel particularly unhappy today. But I am of an English frame of mind that some fresh air, no matter how cold or wet, is invigorating for the body and soul.

It has been so dark here the last 2 days that I have lighted the Christmas tree even during the afternoon. It is a cheerful sort of color in the day and reminds me of a drink of citrus tea. Even though I am in the heart of this small city, I have a large tree in the distance that I watch for news of the day. It is much taller than any building around it, and stands in a park surrounding an elementary school. It is roundish in its leaflessness, it grows quite beautifully. Smaller trees flank it; they are less round and full, perhaps younger. But they look to be a different sort of tree in the shape of their branches. The bark of all three is black from this distance. They simply receive the rain and know, more than I can, that a greening will be soon.

The cats curl on either side of me, as the young trees flank the older. Max, the dog, likes curling at the other end of the couch, under a quilt. Unlike me, they simply fall asleep when the urge catches them. I am much more concerned about the state of my hair to lie down after a hot shower.

I have felt somewhat lonely and set apart today; I am not sure why. But the colonial woodwork and dimensions of the room, coupled with the familiar furniture, comforts me. Ratty's bright orange fur cuddled against my leg keeps me grounded.

Meanwhile Sharon is dead and some rivers in W.Virginia vomit toxic waste, making the waters untouchable. I look to the tree in the distance for its guidance, but it only drips rain.

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