I’m beginning to tolerate the silence and solitude of the middle of the night. I used to view it like a gnat, buzzing and pestering and annoying. Whenever I would open my eyes it would be there, all smug and taunting in its presence telling me “no matter how tight you shut your eyes or how deep you bury your head underneath the pillows I will be here surrounding you.” Staying until the first light of dawn breaks.
And I’d toss and turn and curse 3:00am for being stronger and more persistent than any resolution I would ever make. And it forced me to make enemies with my clock, my poor digital radio who was merely the messenger.
But now that I know the witching hour more intimately I realize that it really is only
Empty, really, unless I choose to fill it.
And I can fill it with whatever I wish. Stories of love and adventure and suspense (all I have to do is reach over to my bedside table and grab a volume or two). Or I can fill it with the musings of philosophers, the analysis of film critics or political debate by merely reaching under my pillow for my iPod.
Or I can write.
Or, I can always do as my mother taught me, say the rosary (if only I could find my rosary). The monotony and repetition acting like a club upside the head…
The only thing needed in this relationship is patience. Of which I have plenty during the long and lazy summer nights when I don’t have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and go to work and put in an energy sucking day that usually requires a stock pile of sleep.
So to my acquaintance (I would never refer to you as friend) “The Middle Of The Night” I say,
I will shun you no longer. You may stay as long as you wish because all you do is offer me opportunity. Oh, I know you would like me to fill it with irritability and stress and impatience for not gathering slumber into my being
and see me toss and twist and sigh heavily in perturbation.
But I have grown wise to your antagonistic intent and will now don my superhero pajamas and use the gift of time you present to me for good.