Sleep Holds Us

From time to time, I come across a phrase in a book I am reading that jumps our at me and demands my attention. I read a lot; and I mean a real lot. I read many books in many genres and love them all. I am a member of two book groups, one is based on spirituality and one on all else. The members of the second group were speaking about the book: Hamnet: a Novel of the Plague by Maggie O’Farrell. I highly recommend this book.

Anyway, as Maggie is telling the story, I read a fascinating and mind-clutching phrase: “sleep holds us in its plumes.” Six simple words placed in an order that fascinatingly describes how sleep hold us. I am enthralled by this word picture.

I dream of comfort, the comfort of a warm blanket keeping me warm at night. This is a pleasure that many people in our world cannot experience; they are too poor to own a blanket, or they may be homeless, shivering on a park bench or in an alley with winds howling by them, picking up speed, making it colder, more miserable. I sometimes dream of these brothers and sisters, suffering as I have never done.

I dream of companionship; I am married, and for 55 years I have shared a bed with my wife. There is something about sleeping with arms and legs tangled such that it is impossible to say who belongs to what. This is a gift from God that I cannot believe I have lived my life with such a marvelous and caring person. This companionship gives me hope and love, but it also gives me security.

I dream of security. Because I am in my own home, which I am fortunate to have, hiding from the world’s problems, hiding behind locked doors that keep out unwanted fears and trials that I cannot and will not face when I sleep. Is this a false sense of security? My answer is that God secures my safety and comfort and companionship. When I sleep, I have not a care.

Yes, no matter what I dream, sleep holds me in its plumes of several layers of intrigue, and several layers of happiness.

©Russell Kendall Carter

 

 

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