It’s 4am and I’m not sleeping, which is strange for me because in a world where you can only be really really great at one or two things, that’s one.
Instead, I’m watching content on the internet which isn’t particularly interesting or enriching and considering going in for some of the strawberry ice cream I bought because it was on sale and I really thought this time would be different and I wouldn’t eat the entire thing in one day.
The window is open and the air is cold, coming off the predawn darkness with a bite that doesn’t suit late night ice cream shenanigans, but I’m in a punishing sort of mood, so maybe it does. Caught in a state of there’s something I’m supposed to be doing and while I might not know exactly what it is, I know that it’s not this.
I always feel a bit disconnected in the summertime. School would end and there was promise of lake days and freedom but people would leave or be packed off to grandma’s and the distance was a tangible thing. And when we came back together in the fall, there were new clothes and new hair and new friends and new experiences which sometimes created an emotional chasm which might never be bridged the same way again.
The ice cream is half gone and the wind coming through the window seems colder, reminding me that I chose to live in a northern climate. I want to shut it up and carry the ice cream back to the kitchen, crawl under my blankets and convince myself that three hours of sleep is enough. The blue outside is less night sky and more deep sea and I can pretend that the occasional car going past is a rogue wave, looking for familiar to wash up against. Maybe that’s what I’m doing too. Perhaps this is a siren song, a lullaby calling to the person I used to be who didn’t sleep at night and struggled with the notion of making good choices because she didn’t realize that was an option.
I really meant to write something on the first and second day of the month, something that might have encompassed all the feelings that go with marking another of dad’s birthdays without him, of recognizing that a contingency of people think celebrating canada day is a good idea even with all the wreckage and trauma involved in the history of it, of many more things but it felt larger than words were capable of. Those first two felt like showdown at noon sort of prompts, where this one goes well with 4am strawberry ice cream and predawn meanderings, with a minor ballast of hope. Sometimes things feel clearer in the dark.
I’ve put the ice cream away. The window is closed and I’m tucked in, nearly ready to sleep. As my eyes drift themselves heavy, I find myself closer to the truth of things, closer to understanding that there is something I’m not quite ready to acknowledge. These are all symptoms of something that needs attention, something that needs to be coaxed to the surface, rather than dragged out into the unrelenting bright of day.
And what better time to shine a light than when it’s dark?
Photo from Unsplash by Lukas Robertson