As many of us do, there are rituals to sleeping.
Check the doors, turn off the lights, do the toiletries, and don't forget to brush your teeth. Put on your night cloths, put away your day clothes, and slid under the covers.
And we drift into the unconscious state of rest for the body and mind.
Sometimes the mind wants to unburden the thoughts of the day in dreams.
I normally wake about 5 AM to wonder down the hall and hear the newspaper hit the door. And normally it is easy to turn over and go back to sleep.
But this is the times dreams come out.
Yesterday was a cool, wet day with little sunshine and few moments of motivation, but sleep came early enough.
The first dream was of me working in the backroom. It felt comfortable and familiar. I had spent some time there during the day playing music and organizing art files. Looking back it had been somewhat fruitful.
Then I heard some footsteps.
This house is very quiet and with little insulation, so noise inside and outside echo.
I stopped working and listened. It had sounded like someone was walking up the steps. I turned to the backdoor window and did not see any shadows. I paused. It hadn't really sounded that close, so I thought it may be someone at the front door. I started to work again, but the thought would not leave my mind. What was that sound?
I decided to get up and walk to the living room to listen. I did not see any movement on the front porch, but it is very dark without a street light. I moved to the front door to peer out the security peep hole when....
The door flew open in my face, not hitting me but making me jump back.
I jumped up in bed, eyes wide open.
I caught my breathe as I wrestled with the covers.
I stopped the struggle, started breathing, wiped my eyes in the dark and listened.
"Had there been a big noise that woke me up?" I thought.
Then I listened more intently for any noise.
"Was the door smashed open? Do I go into the other room and check? Maybe it was a car back fire? Maybe a tree branch fell?"
After a walk around the house and all seemed in order, I climbed back into bed, turned over and went back to sleep.
Now I was at a party. An outdoor party, in the summer, in an alley. All gray and dusty, this seemed familiar from a previous dream about a gritty, dirty inner city feeling.
As usual I was searching for something, but it felt comfortable to be with these street people. They were drinking, talking in soft voices, playing checkers on a card table with kids running about. All like a big family.
I woke from that wondering what was next. It was still dark outside. The bird clock's hour alarm must have been six o'clock because it sounded close to a time I hear it everyday.
I wasn't ready to go back to dreamland, but I wasn't ready to awake. I listened for the birds, but there was no sound. No rain, no wind, no footsteps; just quiet.
Dozing off for what seems a minute, I awoke to the sound of a truck's door slam. I opened my eyes and sunlight appeared. I smiled.
The restless night was over and Leo is already starting to work the neighbor's lawn.
Life was back to normal.
But what will tonight's dreams bring?