When the time changed last week, for a few days my sleeping (and waking) habits got fuzzy. I like these liminal periods that come along every once in awhile and disrupt my habitual life. The whole week I struggled with a simultaneous sense of growing ambition and fear for the future, and at night I was confusing waking and dreaming. I fell asleep working on consciously falling asleep, as per my yoga teacher’s instructions the week before. I meditated before bed, quieting my mind. I silently chanted a simple mantra as I went to bed. I slid into sleep, and, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, found myself still awake. Awake, while asleep. I just sat there, surprised, not knowing what to do. Then I passed out of consciousness into a regular slumber. That was it, it hasn’t happened again. Yet.
I woke up one morning very early, at about 4:30 a.m., just a day or two after the time change. It was unusually warm for the past two weeks, so Spring was already starting to appear, but that morning I woke up without a thought and just lay there, aware and meditative. I heard the early bird. I wondered why the early bird sang so early. He just does, I guess. I’ll investigate.
Soon after I heard a heron hunting over the river. That sound reached my ear and made me aware of Spring. Just that. The heron’s call made me think of the trees outside my window dressed in all their finery after the bare winter. I thought of kayaking the (admittedly very dirty) river and how fun it was last year. I think I’ll help with the river cleanup later this month.
And who else might be hearing the heron and remembering last summer as they lay in their bed half-asleep?
I’m so grateful that even though I live on a traffic-filled street, my little apartment looks out over the river. I have such interesting neighbors. Today, two weeks later, there were cardinals, grackels, geese, and all kinds of different birds singing outside. I listened to them as I got ready for work, and dug around for my Birds of North America.