(One of Mike's favorite columns from 2010 is reposted this week.)
In the still of the night the creatures come. One by one they take their place on the sound stage which is restless sleep.
Are the sounds of this night familiar, or are they waiths, miffies, or ghouls?
The night is warm, the windows open. A very slight breeze warns how humid the air has become.
A cricket chirps from a close by hideout. A pair of frogs serenades the night, if not each other. In the distance a dog barks at some unseen denizen; his senses too acutely aware.
Thoughts lead to questions, contemplation.
If this is to be a calming night, thoughts more consoling -- less tormenting must arrive.
The scent of honeysuckle and the hint of another flower awaken more senses.
Where have I been?
One-by-one episodes of delight and horror play out as my mind travels to places visited and travels taken. Did I make the right decision? Could I have taken a different path? Is the world a better place for having done that? Have I nurtured love in my life?
The hoot of an owl someplace distant is echoed by another yet farther, or is it the sound of buckies and sylphs?
Are the voices real, and were they wronged?
The clock demonstrates how long the night will be. This time, half way between midnight and dawn becomes a time of reflection. In the not so quiet stillness the thoughts arrive.
The sound of tree frogs sound eerily like the plunk of a banjo. My half conscious mind tricks me and teases.
Where am I going?
Do those people I've invited into my life help keep me centered, or do they cause my being to wobble through the progression of life?
Breathing becomes rhythmic, metered, so neither exhale nor inhale disguises the next sound. Senses in tune; mind seemingly alert.
Where am I now?
Am I happy with my situation? Did I do everything I could have?
The sound of a newly fallen tree, leaning and rubbing against a live one arrives as a moan, the primal voice of some other, tormented, perhaps unsleeping.
If the sum of the love I receive equals the sum of the love I send, I can find balance and harmony in my life.
The battle for sleep is this time lost.
I am still awake as the first birds begin to sing. I realize the best thing to do is just get up.
I should know a late meal with butter and garlic taunts me till morning. My resolve is to abstain and sleep more soundly, and lay those demons to rest.
Until next time--
You can read past columns by visiting tamatoledonews.com and clicking on "view all" next to "Local Columns."
In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2011 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.