I am awake.
The night is at its darkest; just before the morning is recognizable as morning. I leave and tiptoe outside. I sit in the field and notice that the stars are still softly glowing, allowing heaven to peek through onto Earth. The clouds are heavy with rain, which occasionally drip on my bare skin, reminding me that I am human and alive.
When you can't sleep, you can't be awake either. I can't keep my mind occupied with one thought, but neither can I clear it enough to sleep. I feel the air thicken with moisture and wind. The breeze is fast and cold, moving through my bones and mind. The air smells sweet as the flowers slowly begin to stir. The night becomes morning as the light at the horizon remembers that it is soon needed. I, like the leaves and grass, begin to stir as the light touches me. I remember all that needs to be done today, the Sabbath, the day before my hectic week begins, the day where I will call home; the day of seemingly very busy 'rest'. And yet, none of that seems as important as existing with creation right now.
The pale, soft light of the morning reminds me of my close friends. Those who I am a part of and those who form a part of me. I remember the fun things we have done recently. I remember the fun things we have done in the past. I remember how many rules I broke and how many moral lines I blurred. I remember my own faith witness and wonder how I have tarnished the Lord's name. I stop. I have forgotten to breathe.
I inhale the good feelings. I exhale the bad memories. I center myself and remember grace. I breathe as though it is all my exhaustion will allow me to do. A whippoorwill cries somewhere near by. I am taken back to the very day my insomnia began; I remember sitting next to a pond with bullfrogs, coyotes and whippoorwills calling out to me all night and all the next morning. I breathe in again, remembering the sweet smell of the morning air beside Sycamore Pond. I breathe out, remembering the pain in my heart that began this journey of sleeplessness.
I look around. I see the grasses beginning to perk up, one by one; as an army of thousands moves as one. I look closer and see small midge flies beginning to rub the dew from their wings as I rub the sleep from my eyes. I look into the air and see the early birds rise into the clouds as though to greet the sun as soon as he arrives. I think to palm branches and wonder on the majesty of Christ's creation.
I look to my right hand and see the ring that has not left my body in three years. I remember all that it is and how it haunts me. I remove it and set it amongst the army of grass. I notice tones and hues of yellow among the white gold that I have never seen before. I look to the sky and see that the yellow is reminding me that I, too, am a part of nature. I, too, am a created being. I, too, am renewed every morning. The rainbows from the diamond are scattered across my ankle. The reds that is the passion of my Lord. The green that is the army that now carries my ring. The blue that is the night sky. The yellow that is the sun's renewal and the Son's renewal.
I recognize my oneness with nature. I feel the warmth of the sun as it rises, alongside the grass and whippoorwill. I am in the space between night and day, light and dark, old and new. Together, we step into the future.
Silence, stillness, peace. The sun cracks over the horizon. It illuminates my view; the church to my right, the orchard to my left, my house behind me, the creation around me. The sun seems to pierce through the darkness like a camera flash in a blackout. It pierces through my dark thoughts. It reminds me to breathe again. I shut my eyes and feel the light. I sense the reds and oranges triumphing over the blues and greens.
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep. My mind is sent rocketing towards my future as though my past was a springboard. I feel the triumph of my future. I hear my whippoorwill again. This time, he raises a chorus of others. I hear a cardinal respond surely. I hear the army of grass respond by shaking off their slumber and rising to greet the day. I, too, rise. I take my ring from the ground. I look at it; it is no longer a bad memory, but a reminder that I am new. I wipe my cold feet on the wet grass; we are so similar, the grass and I. I glance towards the heavy rain clouds that are now obscuring my view of the sun. I remember that they are temporary, but that the sun will rise every morning. I feel the drips on my skin and hair; I remember that rain will bring green grass and flowers soon. I breathe in the sweet morning air once more. I tell myself that tomorrow has enough stress of its own. I don't need to add to it. I remind myself that I have already been taken care of and my plans are useless anyways.
I walk inside and go to sleep.