There is a time on waking, a special time. A time that holds hope and wonder. A time when magic is still real and fairies flit between dust bunnies floating in the air. A time when dreams are fading out of focus, but still close enough to grasp and hold onto if only for a fleeting moment.
Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can hold onto this fleeting reality for what seems like an eternity. Most often it passes in a heartbeat, gone and almost forgotten all too soon.
Do you know this time? The time between sleep and awake, when you can hear the world around you while your body still sleeps. Even if you wanted to you couldn’t get up, a glorious weight pins you in place. You are limp, at rest, snuggled in that perfect position only a sleeping soul can find. Dreams are still dancing behind your eyelids, though they appear softer now, and peace is etched upon your face.
Do you know it? Is it as previous to you as it is to me? Because, you see, in that time I am me. I am not sick. I am not in pain. My joints do not creak and click. I am not exhausted to the point where breathing is a physical effort. My skin and eyes and throat aren’t dry, or if they are I cannot tell. I’m neither too hot not too cold. But mostly, I am me and I am not sick. I am free to ponder hopes and aspirations that are forever out of my reach. To daydream in a state of just enough consciousness that it’s believable. I can be myself. No limitations other than time.
Then whoosh! It’s gone. The blink of an eye, a deeper breath, the slight snuffle of my son in his cot. The tiniest thing can click my conciousness up a notch and reality comes crashing down upon me like a tonne of bricks and sand. Glass, ice and molten lava. All at once my body is awake, and though not yet able to function it can feel. I can feel the tension in my muscles, a tension that never eases but is thankfully less noticeable in slumber. I can feel the itches an prickles running riot over my skin. I can feel the pain pulsing through every fibre of my being. I can practically hear my nerve endings screaming at me as my joints behave like unruly tea avers, unwilling to stay inline.
Inevitably I lay there. Trying in vain to drift back to that sweet place, just for a few seconds more. But I am never that lucky. Sleep doesn’t come easy to me. So instead I try to pull myself together. I paste on a smile and face the day, be that functioning or recovering in bed, I face it. But behind my smile, in a tiny part of my brain, I keep that special time. That time where I can be me. And when I can’t quite cope, I look upon it and smile. Because tomorrow, I will have that glamour of peace once more.