I didn't sleep tonight, and there are many reasons why I didn't. Some bad, some good, some serious, some silly, and mostly just because that's what happened. It's now 5:30am, and I know that if I lie down and try to sleep, I most likely will fall asleep really quickly. And that's probably what I'll do shortly, because I do need to sleep eventually.
For now, however, I feel bright awake. I feel clear headed (despite the slight cold that is clogging up my sinuses). I feel emotionally stable (despite the recent stress, and the hormonal drugs that I'm on). I feel conscious in a way that only a really late night can make me feel. Almost like a slight high.
I was really planning to sleep. I even messaged both Saint and T, telling them I was going to bed really late and to not expect life signs from me tomorrow morning (Dane already knew, as we'd been speaking some hours earlier). However, the air inside felt stuffy, so I opened my window thinking I'd air out for a couple of minutes before sleeping. Then I heard the birds singing in the trees outside, and the more I listened the more tempted I was to go outside. Even though I knew I should sleep.
I was tempted to go for a proper walk, but talked myself out of it. I do need to sleep, after all, and I do still have a cold. And so on. Instead, I threw on a bathrobe (I prefer to sleep naked) and walked barefoot out on the porch:
The rains have just stopped, and wet, cold, refreshing drops and falling on me from the balcony overhead. The boards on the porch are wet and cold, and on some places my feet can detect something that's almost like a slurry. It's obviously been a fairly cold night, although I can see now actual snow on the ground. My feet are getting really chilly, but it's a good chill (for now, anyway).
The air is clear and fresh, the way it can only feel right after it's stopped raining. I can hear the bird song even stronger now that I'm outside, and it's a beautiful morning chorus. There are no cars, no people, no sounds other than those made by the wind, the rain and the birds.
Straight in front of me is a rose hips bush, that has been growing wildly this spring and is now encroaching on our front porch. Some actual rose hips have been left on the branches through the winter, but there are no green buds or leaves hinting at the seasons to come. It's dark and still, but no less beautiful. On every branch, there is a shine and a glitter. The bush is covered in hundreds of water droplets, left after the rain. Like the most perfect pearls, only it's nature's own.
Right there, in that moment, I felt so connected. Connected to everything. Every bird singing, every creature crawling, every branch, every rain drop. I mentally reached out to it all, as in greeting. In my mind, or maybe my heart, I acknowledged the sanctity of our world, and how right it was that I was part of it all. One small piece of a much larger and more complex whole. I felt present. I felt calm.
I reached out with a finger, to catch one of the droplets on a branch. I intended to bring it to my lips to taste, but it burst as I touched it. I tried again, with the same result. Finally, I stuck my tongue out and caught the droplet straight in my mouth. At the same moment, another drop of water fell from the balcony above me and onto my forehead. It felt like a benediction.
I don't know if you'll blame my quasi-religious mental state on sleep deprivation, or stress, or superstition, or whatever. And I don't really care. They're probably all true, to some extent, but whatever works works. I felt a need to write this, because I felt moved. Calm. Aware. It was a pleasant experience, but also an unfamiliar and powerful one.
Now, maybe I can get some sleep.