Monday, October 8, 2012

Middle of the Night

Two o’clock in the morning is not a time I usually see. If I am going to find myself awake “in the middle of the night,” the clock will usually show that it is already 3:30. During the past week, however, twice I have been roused – almost suddenly it seems – nearer two.

When I walk through the neighborhood the next morning, the mood of 2 am is something I have to work to recall. Seven hours later, the sun is shining on a world that most people would agree upon. I expect no one to guess where my heart goes sometimes when I get out of bed at two o’clock.

I get up having learned not to trust the other places I could end up if I stay in bed.

I am willing to fall back asleep if it is possible. Experience tells me, though, to settle in a corner of the living-room couch, to turn a lamp on, to take up a nearby book of poems or prayers. Something there is that I have to sit with.

I do not feel particularly religious at that point. I am exhausted actually. I am trying to figure a way to carry something. I am trying to find a way to carry myself.

Last night I took time to find my place in the breviary, a book of psalms arranged in four weeks. When I found Week Three, I stayed with one of the psalms collected there. And then the awareness dawned. Here was a psalm I could encounter a month from now when Week Three comes back in the cycle. It will be November then, and I will be able to sit with it again. I will be someone who may need to sit with it or something like it at two o’clock of another morning.

Whenever I might need it in the two or three or twelve months to come, not only will it be there. I will be there too.

The message – and with it the return of sleepiness – turned out to be a simple thing.

Something I might need one day is possible.

The someone I might need to be is possible.

How did I get to live in a world as good as this?

In the words of the old hymn, Blessed assurance.

1 comment:

Tim said...

That I understand.