I have a little issue. It has gone undiscussed here on County Road 21, on account of it failing to meet the last little part of the true, simple, BEAUTIFUL criteria. The issue is waking up.
I used to work with someone who routinely got up at 4:30 am. One of her babies had started her on it. He was an adult now, but she had kept the schedule. I felt sorry for her. Wondered why she wasn’t trying to fix it. Rising at that time without soldiers, or an extremely exciting trip to embark on seemed unimaginable.
Unfortunately, I no longer require imagination to see early.
Chris, I say to myself at 4 or 4:30 as I fill up the wood stove, are you still out there? I don’t remember the routine. Are you drinking coffee and reading the paper? I didn’t have a Fraser, but I’m up now. Top of the morning to you. If you’ve stopped getting up early, don’t tell me. It makes me feel better to think there’s somebody else out there.
I tossed and turned for a few nights at 2:00 a.m. with no results other than sleep loss combined with boredom. The next night, I took off the gloves and fought back. Cleaning the bathroom in the middle of the night was surprisingly rewarding. I went back to bed pleased that at least I hadn’t been bored.
2:00 went away. 4:30 though, seems here to stay. What did I do wrong? I wonder. Occasionally, I roll over and see that it is almost 5:30. I smile madly. I slept in! Successful mornings are followed by a careful examination of conscience. What did I do right? What do I do to deserve that again? It will be ok, I tell myself, the day I figure out exactly the way the points are tallied.
A few weeks ago, I helped with a birthday party. Little girls dropped bowling balls on the floor with tiny nudges. Half the time they walked away before their ball even reached the pins. There were no real attempts to aim, the balls were heavy enough. Rolling, or dropping equalled success. It was new and it was fun.
No one understood the score or where it came from, but it appeared on a screen above us. After a while the girls began to watch the computer. In fact, they watched it more than the pins or the ball. From there, they derived the meaning of it all.
“I’m good at this,” said a girl delighted.
“I’m bad at this,” said another resigned. “Me too,” echoed a third.
You’re not good or bad, the numbers are almost random at this point, I wanted to say. The things you are adding up, they don’t equal the thing you think they do.
It was bowling, but it was a glimpse of the obvious. Children should live freely, without thinking it’s all a tally about whether they are good or bad.