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Do you find yourself sleeping more these days? I do. Lord! Lately I’ve had marathon sleeps–8 or 9 hours night after night–with record amounts of deep and REM sleep, according to my Fitbit. And then, too, I could easily nap in the afternoon–not at all like me. More like a bear. Or Miles.

At first I put it down to the busyness, stress and exhaustion of the last few weeks, getting ready for my solo show, visitors and Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m just catching up? Or what about allergies? Perhaps now that I get weekly allergy shots I’ll sleep rather than sneeze my way through the winter.

I rebelled against the change to cold weather, as usual, but now I have to admit I’m loving this late fall–the bare branches of trees against a sky that’s bright blue, solid white with clouds, or bursting into color at dawn. But wait a minute! I haven’t been seeing the dawn lately. Day after day I’ve been fast asleep. Just thinking of it now makes me a little wistful for my bed.

I love the early sunset and the long nights, being in for the night by 5:00, preferably in pajamas by 7:30, bed by 9:00. I love the coziness of lighted windows and porches in the dark. One does not even have occasion to use the word “cozy” in spring and summer. I’m almost disappointed that we’re already so close to the Winter Solstice, the return of the light and longer days.

So for now everything about this time of year feels just right. We have four very distinct seasons where I live and each has its own beauty. Oh, I might be singing a different tune when the temperature is 1, feels like -10. But that can be an adventure in its own right. Can we get through it?? There’s always some reward. Right now the reward is that I have a bed and dogs to share it with. I make my own schedule, so I really can sleep for hours if I want. How great is that? Life is good. Sleep is good. Zzzzzz.

Here is one of my favorite passages from the excellent J.M. Barrie book, Peter Pan.

“Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children’s minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this and you would find it very interesting to watch. It’s quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on Earth you picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek, as if it were a nice kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out the prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Think of Mrs. Darling as a part of you, doing this for yourself every night. Wouldn’t it be so nice?

If you’d like to see my new paintings online, go here. If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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