Sunday, March 18, 2007
I write often on my blog about my poor ability to relax, to simply be. While, I don’t nap often, naps are a place where when I need to, I can let go. Naps are one of the most satisfying and simple of pleasures. Below I write about three types of wonderful naps.
Naps provide healing:
When I first went to college, I was as most freshmen – busy. I felt the need to be active and involved in every way. By the time Thanksgiving break came, I was exhausted. The family Thanksgiving that year was at my aunt and uncle’s house. I don’t properly recall but I think I arrived there the day of Thanksgiving. In fact, I recall little of that day. After lunch I lay down on the floor in a room adjoining the main room and promptly fell asleep and slept solidly for over two hours. By the time I woke up it was dark and the clock in the main room was broke and said it was seven at night. I was disoriented to say the least and I was the butt of some good-humored jokes, but I was well rested. I have a photo that someone took of me. I was lying on my stomach with my head on my arms. I was wearing a favorite pair of black shoes, stonewashed jeans, a black turtleneck and a red cardigan. My hair was short with big curls. I am sure my attitude glasses were somewhere nearby.
Naps provide dream time:
I got married while in college. After I was married, we moved into an apartment off campus. It was an old house that had five apartments: one in the basement, a first floor full apartment for the caretaker, an attic apartment, and the second level was split in half front to back so that there were two long, narrow apartments. We lived on the second level in the left hand apartment if you faced the front of the building. There were two wonderful things about that ugly outdated bowling alley of an apartment we lived in. First, the bathroom had a grate in the wall that was about a foot and half wide by about two to two and half-feet tall. Flip a switch and you had wonderful radiant heat. What a treat on cold winter mornings. If I ever build I will find out what today’s code equivalent is and have one!!
The second was the windows, our apartment was on the north side of the house. Altogether it had, ten windows. Two in the kitchen, two in the living room, and one in this funny little walk-in closet we had and five in the bedroom which faced the street (yes five). Two were to the street, one was in the angle corner (the house didn’t have square corners but about a six foot angle side before the next wall, and two on the north-side proper. Across the street from our house was a business that did something with metal so there was always lots of banging, clanging, and welding. It could be quite loud on summer nights (as they did, of course, have a night shift). On the other side of the business (less than half a block from our apartment) was the railroad tracks. A person, can get used to the railroad tracks. We lived there for two years and it go so that one didn’t notice the trains unless you were trying to talk on the phone (or something managed to vibrate its way off the wall or off a shelf). But back to naps.
When we moved hubby’s old bed from CA, we could not fit the frame into our vehicle so all we had was the box spring and mattress, so those lay on the floor in the apartment. Because the windows were tall and came down low, the box spring and mattress put us eye-level to the window sill. Yes, a nap is forthcoming.
One winter, we went to a wedding on a Friday afternoon, hubby came home from work, we attended the wedding, then we came home – it was one of those very dark grey winter days with a very thick snow falling silently. We went to bed and slept. It was a deep warm aware but silent sleep. It lasted for four hours and we didn’t wake until it was completely dark. We ate and went back to bed.
Naps provide security:
Just before I got pregnant with K, my MIL bought us a Sleep Number bed. While I was pregnant, I went to visit my parent’s. On the way home, C and I had a number of trials and mishaps. I got home and put her to bed. Then I crawled into bed myself. In a Sleep Number bed, you can set the mattress firmness so soft that you can sleep on your belly when pregnant or curl up in a hole like a dog. I was curled up deep in a hole. And nothing felt better.
Later after K was born, I napped with her. Nothing is warmer, sweeter, or more heart achingly tender than sleeping with your child lying on your chest. It is a deep bonding experience.
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In Sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness, and we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying the darkness and we know no death. Tom Wolfe