When I was little, I worried a lot. Even more than I do now--which might surprise some of you that know how much I can worry! But I carried a lot on my little shoulders--and thinking back now--whew!--what a load for a little one.
I had this secret thing I did--that I never told anyone about. I think it started when I was about 8 years old. When I felt too overwhelmed and couldn't sleep...I pulled a blanket out of the hall closet and crept outside through the back door into our backyard. Usually it would be late--after 11pm or midnight. I grew up in NC, so three seasons out of the year, I could do this.
I would spread the blanket on the grass and lie down, and look up at the canopy of stars. I can remember so vividly the sounds of the crickets and bullfrogs, the small breezes in the summer, the smells of the first leftover chimney smoke in the fall. But mostly the quiet. I would soak it all in and just let the world gobble me up for a little while. I would look up and think that there had to be something bigger than me, bigger than what I was worried about, and feeling small at that point was a good thing. Every now and then, I would glimpse a falling star and would wish my little heart out.
I remember returning to bed, not really having solved anything-- just being tired and and able to sleep, and maybe a little relaxed--a few wishes behind me, my pajamas damp with the night air, the music of crickets humming in my ears.
It has been a rough couple of days, as is probably evident by the more solemn tone of my last few entries. I promise to return to my biting sarcasm in a day or so. But last night, I could not sleep, not really worried, more hurt and and a few other things...and I did something I haven't done since I was that little girl many years ago. I grabbed a blanket at about 3am--more grown up time I guess, and headed out to my deck. I unfolded the blanket, spreading it out, and laid down, taking in the stars. The sounds were different, but the feeling was the same.
I have had much bigger worries than the one I am dealing with at the moment, and I will be fine. This one just hit a little close to who I am -- making me wonder if always seeing the best in people is truly the blessing people are always telling me it is. And if it is, why I end up in pain, feeling stupid, and laying on a blanket outside on my deck at 3am trying to figure things out.
I am sure my neighbors wonder what in the hell is going on over here. So do I.