Anticipating the pleasure to come, I slide my cold and tired body down into the welcoming warm cacoon of soft, silky sheets enveloping my weary limbs. With voluptuous pleasure, I stretch my limbs to their fullest extent and a sigh escapes from deep within....
On my back, muscles stretched comfortably, with only the silky sheets separating my body and the downy softness of the duvet, I feel the warmth spreading over my skin and penetrating deep into my tires muscles... relaxing and restoring.
Heavy eyelids block out the images of the world and the images of my inner soul slowly appear as my thoughts drift off into the freedom of randomness. My breathing slows and my body turns on its side and curls up, snuggling deeper into the comforting warmth, without any conscious effort on my part. A nurturing nothingness descends over me as I voluntary give up the activity of day to the total absence of sound and movement that is sleep.
More years than I care to remember ago, I learned a part of the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Tayler Coleridge, and the one verse that stayed with me through all the years, is this one:
"Oh sleep, it is a gentle thing,
beloved from pole to pole,
to Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
that slid into my soul."
(It could have been written specifically for me.)
I love sleep. Everything about it. The drifting off and escaping from everyday stresses. The floating on nothingness of sleep itself. The freedom of my subconscious to entertain me on wonderful dramas compiled from bits and pieces of my day... (not that I often remember any of these dreams in the mornings.) I even like the slow dawning of consciousness when waking up out of a deep, restful sleep... that moment of realising I have been granted another day... realising I feel new energy flowing through my being. Wonderful!
As a small girl I used to love thunderstorms. I was never afraid of the lightning. On such nights I would lay curled up in my warm and safe bed, watching the flickering patterns of the lightning through my rain-lashed window... loosing myself in the roll off the thunder over the sky and veldt... and I would experience the same feelings of security, comfort and well-being that I still encounter today when I lay in my bed with sleep slowly sliding into my soul.