Staring at the Ceiling

A few nights ago I curled up in bed looking forward to a good night's sleep. But slumber evaded me. An hour or so later, I stared up at the ceiling, watching the headlights outside flashing squares of light against the ceiling fan. My husband snored softly next to me, his back nestled against the small of my back. The dog curled into the bend of my knees. She, too, snored gently. Without my contacts or glasses I could only make out basic shapes outside the window, just blurred edges and soft night colors. The moon shone brightly, though. That I could tell. It seemed that the world was bathing in moonlight.

On most sleepless nights I grow frustrated and annoyed, especially on nights before an early morning of work. But on this particular night, amid the moonlight and the warmth of blankets and the steady breathing of my beloved bedmates, I smiled. I felt content and happy and thankful. What more could I want in life?

I had a warm bed in a sturdy house, a husband who becomes more and more a partner, a friend, a confidante, and a playmate with each passing day, a job I love to go to in the morning, and a loyal dog seeking my warmth and protection in the night. I am loved and have the honor to love. So much of life -- our health, the health of our loved ones, our relationships, our families, our communities -- is fragile and temporary. Nothing lasts forever.

So in every moment I live, I want to remember how I felt staring up at that ceiling a few nights ago -- content, grateful, honored, and loved.


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