I found myself behaving like a hermit all weekend, or possibility a narcoleptic as I kept falling asleep at odd moments. I am a bit of an insomniac but when stress is in the air as it has been for the past few weeks I sleep even less than my habitual four to five hours. And you know what? That sleep deficit really catches up with you over time.
I hadn’t planned it but I spent the weekend sleeping, watching movies and generally recharging the old batteries. It’s my birthday in five days and last week I fell into the doldrums about it. It’s not a fearing getting older thing it’s a feeling like I’m running out of time to do all the things I want to do thing. I have realised I need to prioritise my time a little more stringently if I ever want to achieve the things I wish to but having an easily distracted mind and a natural tendency towards laziness, I find time management difficult. I am determined however, to make a change this year. I mean, I can’t be a recluse forever.
It is lovely, slightly decadent feeling to lie in bed in the middle of the day with the blankets pulled right up to your chin watching the sunlight form a criss-cross of yellow veins on the window. Little birds, wrens I think, whistle to each other from their nook in the plumbago bush. Blue petals scatter and they swoop, nibbling. There is such joy in birdsong, such unblemished charm, that the day is immediately brightened upon hearing it.
Little girls walk by, giggling, talking about how much they love pink socks. ‘I have pink gloves for winter,’ says one. ‘And I have pink tights,’ says another.
Someone walks by eating hot chips. The smell of vinegar wafts, languishing just below the rose bush. I am hungry but too relaxed to get out of bed.
A dog barks, squeaking like it is made of rubber. A cat scrambles up the cherry tree, searching for the wrens, but they are too quick for it. The curtains move in the wind, flapping like flags. The wind makes me snuggle, warm, sinking back into sleep. Maybe I will sleep a little more, maybe not. It is a good day when those are the only kind of decisions that have to be made.
No one knows I am here. No one can see. I have calls to make, emails to answer, but I do nothing. I want to be alone just like Greta Garbo.
It is tranquil, this resting-place. I remember as a child that winter’s day when I slept in my parents’ bed as big and soft as the bed of a princess. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my arms to stretch from one side to the other. ‘When I am big I will have a bed like that,’ I promised myself. ‘And then I will be Queen of the World.’
The memory makes me smile. Here I am, in a big bed once more, still plotting and dreaming. Some things never change.
The old clock chimes. It is growing dark. The shadows are golden. They gild the room with magic. It is time to rise, late as it is. I am mellow. My hands are warm and soft as my son’s used to be as a baby when he rose from his cot. It is a wondrous thing, this sleep. Some days it gives me trouble but today it was warm and true. Just when I needed it. Just when I felt it was out-manouvering me. And I give thanks for the solace of a little bit of peace and quiet.