Like The Queen
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Sunday, April 06, 2003  

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

-- R. L. Stevenson

I hate daylight savings time, probably because I am a morning person - a dawn prowler who loves to get up early, gets her best work done before noon, tries to avoid starting a new project after 2:30 and thinks 9 o'clock is a good bedtime. Every spring I have to start getting up in the dark again and wait another month for the sun to brighten my morning. I love it when it gets dark at dinner time in November and I can snuggle back down in my little nest and practice the noble art of sleeping.

Ahh sleep. As I mentioned in a previous post - for me, sleeping is not a passive activity. It is the first medicine after water, when I am sick. It is the chance to live multiple lives through dreaming. It is the opportunity to wear the prettiest, but most comfortable clothes. When I was a girl I used to think that school would not be so bad if I could only attend it in my pajamas, and if my desk were a bed. After a while I created an entire mobile bed fantasy where I could drive to school, dressed in flannel pj's, in my "magic" bed, which had recording devices, a refrigerator beneath the springs for cold drinks, and curtains to shut out obnoxious schoolmates. I escaped many a dull afternoon science class in that soft fuzzy fantasy.

I am grown now, but I still enjoy the magic bed fantasy. On hot summer nights, my flying bed takes me out over the ocean, where emerald-cool green waves tower 50 feet over my head and damp shafts of moist air pour over me. Or perhaps it will fly me over arctic landscapes with sharp snow flurries biting my face as I snuggle down beneath heaps of magical blankets that never get wet. Now, though, I get to share it with BigDarling, who - you guessed it - is a night owl! How it happens that two people with such different biological clocks ever chanced to be awake at the same time long enough to date at all must be proof of the power of fate. Often I will wake at 1 a.m., when he finally calls it a day. In the dark I will offer to take him on a magic bed tour and with words I will lift the roof off the house and fly us up into the clouds. "Today we shall fly west over the Blue Ridge" I begin and then will summon all my memories and imagination to take us on a new adventure. It takes very little of this traveling to put us both to sleep.

But now I shall stoically grit my teeth and endure the long light summer nights, when I shall just "have to go to bed by day".

posted by Bess | 6:53 AM