Night at the Cabin
The land of Cabin Without Internet has been invaded by a wifi hotspot provided by my father. For which I am quite grateful at 4 am when sleep eludes me. The room around me is dark and all the beds are filled with sleeping people. The only company I have is a ticking clock and a lonesome moth who thinks to be friends with my glowing screen.
Insomnia is a newer plague in my life. It travels with anxiety, and the past few weeks have been filled with needless anxiety. I have all this worry floating free in my head, just waiting for thoughts to which it can attach. This is one of the reasons that I organize, plan, and am so very good at my job. Knowing I’ve done all that I can do makes the ambient anxiety subside a little. On nights when I lay awake for hours–fretting over things that I know don’t need the attention–I ponder lifestyle and medication. Because one solution would be to restructure my life to eliminate anxiety triggers. The other would be to decide that for whatever reason my biology has deviated far enough from the norm that medication is required for me to be able to support a normal life. Then of course I can spend a long time pondering normal.
Mostly what I truly need is to get out of the dark hours of the night and into the next day when things are invariably better. For tonight this means emptying my brain of a few things by writing them down.
I looked at the map of where I was to go. It was a wiggly line right through a green patch of national forest. The much straighter road was closed due to fire and landslide. Google maps gave me two different sets of instructions neither of which matched the verbal instructions offered by my aunt. But we drove anyway, trusting that where there were roads we could at least find our way back. Driving an unfamiliar route makes me a little nervous. Canyon roads with steep drop offs require focused attention, not only to keep the car on the road, but also to keep my imagination from supplying imagery of what would happen if I drove carelessly just there. Throw in an intermittent torrential rain, and the last hour of my drive was quite interesting. But we found the cabin and all is well.
“You have to come see this Aunt Sandra!” Three sets of eyes were focused on me. Gleek, Niece7, and Niece7A all were quite intent upon showing me their fairy circle. I was given a tour through the enchanted grove, the fairy circle, the boundary, and led to the place where a deer died some years ago leaving only bones behind. The girls were solemn as they showed me the bones. They informed me that the rain was because the sky was crying over the deer. Then they dashed back through the trees to their fairy circle. For them the trees around the cabin are a magical realm. They become fae, fairies, and mermaids. I shall be quite interested to see the game involve to include additional cousins as they arrive. Gleek shapes the game, names the places, makes declarations. The younger girls are quite happy to be led and add their own embellishments. They are going to have a magical weekend. I watch the three of them together. Gleek is a head taller than the other two. She is eleven and it is quite possible that this summer is her last one as a child. Some girls still play pretend at twelve, but for this summer I am glad to see that Gleek can still imagine a whole realm into existence. I wish I could photograph the woods as she imagines them to be.
I rather like the quiet and the dark now that I am being awake in it instead of fruitlessly attempting to sleep. It is almost like I can absorb the solitude into my skin like a balm. I feel it soak in, and something coiled tight begins to unwind. For this hour I am free of expectation. I do not disappoint anyone, not even myself. It is strange that this freedom is so tangible even when I know that most of the weight I feel from expectation is things I put on myself. I am the only one who expects me to get everything right all the time. Perhaps the insomnia is my inner self rebelling against all the things I assign myself. It seeks the quiet dark which is timeless and alone. Dark is not required. I find some of the same feeling when I sit on my front porch in the evening or my hammock swings at any time of day. It is probable that a good portion of my summer stress is merely introvert starved of solitude.
My thoughts unwind and slow. Perhaps sleep will come to me now that I’ve slowed down enough for it to catch up.
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