Sleep used to be my superpower. I could fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Even if the pillow itself were on a couch. Or in a car. Even if the pillow was a wadded up sweatshirt.
These days, sleep toys with me. Either I can’t fall asleep, or I fall asleep without trouble and wake up too early, too hot or cold or a little of both, mind flooded with a litany of adulting concerns.
Our bedroom clock broke and we haven’t replaced it, because we haven’t gotten around to it and because checking the clock in the wee hours isn’t helpful. So I have no idea what time I awoke, but I know it was darker than it should have been. I tossed. I turned. I put my arms over my head and pulled them back under covers. I kicked a foot out, then rolled over to kick the other foot out, then pulled them back in as well.
I am not a morning person but, since this morning began in pitch black, I decided I might as well get up when the alarm sounded even though at that point I could have tumbled back into slumber. Instead I tugged on multiple layers of workout clothes, slurped down a quick mug of coffee, grabbed keys and leashes, and off we went, the kiddo to school and us to walk dogs in the park.
On the way, I read Biblegateway’s verse of the day: But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16
Emerging from our warm car, my skin tingled with cold. My cheeks felt like they might shatter. My ears ached. My fingers numbed when I couldn’t hold them in my down pockets (and I live in California…). And yet I felt alive.
I felt grateful for God’s love and protection. Grateful for dogs that need a walk as much as I do. Grateful for my husband. Grateful for our town and neighbors and a beautiful morning. Grateful for the hawk perched on a branch; silly, scampering squirrels; a canary, yellow as a canary should be; dew shimmering on the long winter-green grass like confections; the blue sky.
Hours later and this day hasn’t gone as expected, which makes me even more grateful for the good, if early, start. God’s love encourages me to rely on His strength.
Oh, and the dogs pulled me over to a plaque I’d never noticed before. It read: Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. Only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. Ralph Waldo Emerson