|From Nicolya Christi|
I wondered what I would write about this morning, and several times during the night that phrase kept coming to me. In the summertime we usually have the bedroom window completely open, and the sounds of the night sometimes includes the sound of a barking dog. Incessant, sharp yaps, which utterly destroys my peace and keeps me awake. Last night I fell asleep at an early hour, as I usually do, and that sound brought me back into consciousness. I tried to ignore it, but of course I couldn't.
Here in Bellingham within the city limits, dogs are not allowed to destroy one's peace and quiet like that, but that would mean getting up, finding the telephone number to call, staying on the line while I am connected to the police station, and making a complaint. That was going to make it even harder to get back to sleep. But as the sound continued, I got up and put on my robe and slippers and went outside to follow the sound to its source. At midnight, I was amazed to see how much activity was still going on: two people rode by me on bicycles in the dark, several apartment dwellers were watching television with all the doors and windows open.
I found the source of the barking in a house on the other side of the driveway, and as I approached, it stopped. The barking stopped. The only sounds I could hear were of faraway traffic and crickets hidden somewhere in the grass. A conversation from somewhere between two people wafted out of dark, so I crept back up the stairs to my own apartment. I climbed back into bed and snuggled back into my covers. As I drifted back into sleep, it started again. Same dog barking. This time, I was determined to get back to sleep, find my peace and quiet and contemplated ear plugs. But then it stopped, this time for good. The dog's owners had apparently taken him inside. My peace and quiet was restored and I fell asleep.
This morning as I sit in bed, tea beside me and my laptop in its usual place, the sounds that I hear all contribute to my morning peacefulness, rather than bother me. First, the distant sound of the rooster who crows from an hour before first light... somehow that sound is not annoying but rather restful. The birds chirping in the trees, an incessant trill alongside the familiar sound of my goldfinches, and the sound of the keys being depressed on my laptop. It's Sunday morning, and after having most of my sleep uninterrupted, I'm in a particularly good mood.
The world we live in has become very noisy, and as population pressures mount, finding some peace and quiet has become problematic. I don't think I'm the only person who needs it. Some people may thrive in a chaotic environment, but I sure don't. I am bothered by certain sounds and too much light. Sleeping on a plane is impossible for me, or anywhere that is unfamiliar or doesn't give me the ability to stretch out and turn onto my side. My own bed is the best place for me to sleep, with the temperature cool enough to allow me to have a light covering, more for the ability for me to burrow into it than for warmth, at least in summer. And I need relative quiet, which most nights I get plenty of.
But as I sit here thinking, wondering where I'm going with this post, I realize that the state of my mind is what contributes the most to my inner peace. If something is bothering me, it continues to roll around inside my head, interrupting my sleep and invading my dreams. When my thoughts are peaceful, I sleep incredibly well. It does make me wonder if I could somehow rise above the sound of the barking dog and fall asleep anyway. No, somehow I cannot picture that happening, but then again... imagination is a powerful tool, and maybe I can transmute that annoyance into acceptance. Maybe, but taking action and making a complaint might be the right path, too.
The gloomy skies and rain of yesterday seem to have lifted, and today might actually allow us to make a few skydives in Snohomish; I'm hopeful. Last Sunday I was able to make two and play in the air with my friends. I came home from the day's activities rather early and spent all day Monday hiking with some other friends. My life is very full, it seems, and I look forward to every day that I am given with gratitude. I am grateful for all the peace and quiet I have, inside and out.