|Trail at Night, by Ron Guthrie|
Last night, as I laid my head on my pillow and longed for sleep to overtake me, I wondered.
I thought about all the different places I have laid my head, and how different they have felt. I thought about hotel rooms and the interior of tents. I thought about couches and the bed I sleep in at my mother-in-law's house when we visit. I thought about being in the condo at the beach near an open window with the sound of the waves just over the dunes.
Then I wondered about my footsteps. I wondered if others thought about where they step, and who had stepped there before them. Along the city sidewalks at Pike Place Market or down in Pioneer Square...or along a trail to a waterfall. What were they thinking and what was their purpose in going there? I thought about walking to school along the street through the suburban neighborhood where I grew up, and wondered if the people that live along that street now even think about the generations of children that have walked to school that way.
I thought, as I do often, of being under the expansive sky and who is looking at it when I am...that they are under the same sky, but thousands of miles away. What are they thinking about? Do they think of the constellations like old friends, too? Do they wonder about friends long gone from their lives and what they may be doing...or thinking. Perhaps they are looking up into the night sky at that same moment.
Alas, as sleep was elusive, I thought about all the people laying in bed just like me, waiting for sleep to come. My husband wasn't having to wait, and I wondered how many people laid next to a sleeping partner, trying not to disturb them. What were they thinking about? Were they praying, rehearsing conversations from the day or perhaps crying? Were they thinking of someone laying in a hospital bed wondering about their health? Or perhaps thinking of someone who is waiting for something more permanent than sleep?
I thought all these thoughts, and wondered for a long time...never came to any conclusions, though. Perhaps you will.
Thus, I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly, for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?
And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. (Qohelet)