Most every evening as the light begins to drain from the sky, the
three of us can be found in our beds lost in our own worlds. We read
and read and read. Somehow I always last the longest. As we move into
the night, it is a common occurrence to hear snores escaping from a
sleeping husband, a fan whirring in the boy’s room, owls hooting,
coyotes yipping, dogs twitching in their dreams. The sound that I hear
the loudest, is the buzzing in my own head. The day’s events still
whirring and pinging this way and that, the idea of tomorrow’s to dos
joining them in battle for my attention.
I try to stifle them all with the words in my books. To that end the
pile (or piles as they have become) grows ever taller next to my bed.
Every so often I get inspired and I pick them all up and sort
through.The ones I have finished and want to keep go on the proper
bookshelves, some of the others are passed on. Inevitably new ones
come and take their places. It is ceaseless, constant and perhaps
I love to have options within my grasp.
I find these pages to be like a bridge to that far off land of sleep.
Sometimes it’s a simple skip over, often a chasm that must carefully
be crossed. I read and read until the words blur and my eyes grow
heavy. I like to sleep with the light on, it makes me feel as if
things are still going on around me, making me feel safe somehow. But
that is not kind, nor practical. Nor is it supportive of a sleeping
husband who must be awake at the crack of dawn.
Thinking about reading reminds me of the three of us sitting in an
airplane on our way to visit Vermont. A 2 year old T sitting between
us, looking at his Thomas the tank engine book. M and I each paging
through our own books, occasionally looking at each other with the
realization that we belong together. This is one of those moments
that’s become the foundation of our family. Solidifying over time and
giving us shape, structure; a heft that cannot easily be smashed or
destroyed. We certainly agree on more topics than we disagree, but
reading is at our core. It binds us to each other.
What better time than evening, what better place than the comfort of
your own bed? For us it is a routine, a habit, a way to close the day.
As each of them drifts off, I listen for their rhythmic breathing. I
often do a quick tour around the house making sure all is where it
should be. I return, switch off the light, close my eyes and drift off
to what awaits me.
I read once that it was bad to read before bed, that it made your mind active, but I disagree. I read to each of my girls before bed and it settles them. And I am like you. I spend too many nights up too late in the darkness and the quiet lost in some other world until I can read no longer.