This Quiet House

Posted on December 23, 2004 by Sara Hickman. | Comments Off on This Quiet House

It’s 3:08 a.m.

I walk through the house, black as a cave, and I hear the sounds of sleep filled breathing. I feel like a ghost. A ghost in pink pajamas with cartoon dogs chasing cartoon cats. I wander the halls and find myself wondering, “What do I do now? Where shall I sit? What is on my mind?” And the dark is so deep. It is like swimming in black air.

I find a chair. Sometimes I get cozy on the sofa and fall back asleep. Mostly, I do nothing.
I just wander until I am ready to return back to bed, and pray for sleep, and listen to my husband’s gentle snore.

Occassionally, I lay my hand on the small of my husband’s warm back, or rest my hand in his, if it is exposed and near by. Just the touch of his skin on my skin brings me great comfort. I don’t feel as if I am floating. The human connection anchors me beyond belief. He never wakes, he just keeps on sleeping, and that is so good. I don’t like waking others.

Tonight, I sang in chapel. I sang “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Noel”. I have a head cold, so I sounded rather stuffy. But I wanted to sing. I wanted to be there. I had to use a microphone as I had no oomph in my projection.
The high notes on “Noel” are so satisfying…it feels like a spiritual liquid gold is pouring from my body. I cannot describe the pure joy of singing any other way. It is astounding to be a vessel for sound and to deliver that sound from the depths of your being and out into the world.

Afterwards, we shared wassail and sugared cranberries, like the colonists. Gathered around the table, perhaps 18 of us…I thought, “This is such a good community.” I really did. I kept hugging everyone, and thinking how fortunate I am to know so many kind souls. I was literally jumping with joy, doing little steps, smiling with glee. Then I was introduced to a woman whom I did not know, nor had I ever seen before, and we started talking and then I just held her for the longest time. She was so very blue. I held her and held her until she stopped holding on to the societal committment of that 20 second hug. My arms around her shoulders, her head on mine, we just stood there in the party, embracing, holding onto one another. Tears were streaming down her face and all I could think to say was, “I know, I know…” in the softest whisper. I know her sadness.

I wish I could set up a little chair on the street with a sign that says, “Free hugs.” Maybe I will. Maybe I will just hop downtown on the Dillo bus (it’s free, you know…little buses that look like cable cars)…with a folding chair and a piece of cardboard. And just share hugs with strangers on the street.

Yes, I know. You’re thinking, perhaps, that this sounds nutty. Why is it nutty? Why is it nutty to love the world so much?
This pain I feel for all the pain I see…my god, it hurts to see all the lonliness on this planet.

My brain just will not stop.

It is Christmas, and since my last entry, I have cleaned, moved three sofas…given our table to a family from war torn Liberia that has been given a chance here in America…dear friend Michael came over with his truck and we loaded up a door and some window glass for Habitat, as well…and while Lance was at work, the girls, our dear friend, Kevin, and I all decorated the tree and it is… stunning! A living tree in the new addition, complete with lights, treasured decorations and tinsel…ah, how it lights up the night! And our fireplace! For two days we have had WOOD in the fireplace, crackling and popping and delivering the warmth of holiday cheer.

Our home smells smoky good…as if we are those colonists of long ago, settled into our cabin, awaiting the arrival of
rare spices so that our wassail can be complete…mmm…cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves….what can send the mind racing back to days of childhood faster than these tantalizing spices?

Ok, I’m just wandering mentally, now. I can feel my eyes finally getting lulled back into a place of sleepiness. Funny, I’ve been to three sleep specialists over the last ten years, and they all three had different comments on how to sleep better. The latest one said the WORST thing to do was to get on the computer.

I’ll end on a high note: Yesterday, Lily, io, Kevin and I went down to the Greenbelt and hiked down to a giant rock where we enjoyed a picnic lunch. Nestled blocks from our house, we are suddenly in the heart of the Colorado Rockies…I swear, it feels like that! A churning, bustling white water rapid runs through this ancient rock, and all around us, canyon walls with turkey buzzards swooping up overhead. People with their dogs and the occassional kayaker pass by. The sun was hot. The air was crisp, but not too cool. We had cherries on the stem, lemonade, sandwiches, popcorn and
homemade Christmas cookies. Our friend, Marty, phoned down and walked down the gorgeous wooded path to join us, as well. iolana found a large stick and set to pretending she was a sherpa. Lily was imploring Aunt Kevina (Kevin’s official family name) not to leave. Her lip was very protruding. She was sad. I was sad! I did not want the day to end, either. A picnic in the middle of the day with family and friends and the sky so happy.

I raise a toast to the joy of being under the same sky! Merry Christmas!

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