What’s a baker to do when it’s 6:41pm and she knows each minute awake is less minutes asleep until the ding dong of her alarm rises those tired eyes at 1am?
My dear old roommate once said “I’ve heard sticking your feet in the ground can help you prepare for an overnight shift…”
So, I walk. Every evening before I go to bed, I watch the sun kiss the skyline goodnight. It was first a silly ritual to “ground” myself into the blessed sleep I so desperately needed even though the sun and neighbor noise fought to keep me awake.
Now, it’s glorious.
My evening routine, so forced upon me by the schedule of spending my nights baking delights for people’s enjoyment, has evolved into a nurturing lulling to my senses.
I scarf down some fairly unplanned dinner and then begin my evening stroll. People are always out running (why do they do that?) or walking their dogs (who are taking over this town!) and the ducks have quite a bit to say to each other before they call it a night (most community-oriented social creatures I know).
I remember one twilight back in Portland when Nathan and I romantically cruised the trail behind Reed college. Now that is a well kept secret. Marvelous really. We sat on a log and witnessed flocks of ducks after ducks fly into this one lagoon like part of the creek, well hidden and there they…talked. I can’t describe it in any other way. It felt like the Martha’s were catching each other up on the Eleanor’s. The Frank’s needed to inform the Don’s of new well-stocked hunting grounds.
And then a peace covered the area as if a dome of tranquility had been placed over us. We felt honored. We were in awe. It was sacred in all the ways Wendell Berry had described, but I had never experienced, just nodded accordingly when my husband recited. He knew though. All too well Nathan knew. That world is in his bones, in his blood. The world of the quiet slumber of dawn and dusk right before the owls and the geese give in to rest.
This is now what I do each evening. Long before the other homo sapiens of North America choose sleep and I arise long before their eyes first flash open. It’s a strange settling feeling, falling into a rhythm that aligns with nature. As I prepare for sleep with my honey milk tea in hand, I quiet my restless body and wait…soon the familiar cooing of the turtledove commences and I know it is time. Time for the quieting of my mind, for the quieting of my heart as it fills with that peace only a world divinely designed can embody.