To sleep, perchance to dream . . . William Shakespeare
February is like the 4 A.M. of the calendar year. I wake up, eager to start the day, but realize the world is still dark and the garden is still sleeping. So, I roll over, snuggle deeper under the covers, and go back to sleep, perchance to dream, of the gardening year to come.
There are a lot of wildly differing viewpoints on sleep, perhaps depending on whether you seek it, fear it, or cannot find it. As a gardener and nature lover, I find myself agreeing with Walt Whitman when he says Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. D.H. Lawrence had a similar view of the natural renewal of sleep. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new created.
An unknown pundit and night owl stated Sometimes I stay up so late that I have my morning coffee before I go to bed. When I was performing full time, this would have been my motto! Here are two diametrically opposed points of view, from authors unknown. Sleep… Oh! how I loathe those little slices of death or Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
Perhaps composer Eric Whitacre expressed the lovely complexity of sleep best, in
his beautiful choral piece “Sleep.” It was originally set to Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” but because of copyright issues he eventually reset it with lyrics created by poet Charles Anthony Silvestri and now prefers this version.
The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head,
I know that sleep is coming soon (See all lyrics)
Not only did Eric compose a poignantly beautiful piece of music in Sleep, he united singers all over the world through the power of YouTube into a virtual choir to perform it. This clip from TED tells the amazing story.
And here is the full video of a 2000+ voice virtual choir singing “Sleep” – a feast for the ears, the eyes, and the soul.
For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one. Anne Morrow Lindbergh
On a cold snowy February day, you might enjoy reading this post and hearing a song about Winter.