Thursday, January 6, 2011

Singing the Night Away

“In peace I will lie down and sleep…”

The most beautiful humming caught Missy’s attention as she lay in her bed.  She had started to doze off when soft songs filled her ears and her imagination.  Forcing herself to pull away from dreaming she shook off her sleepy.  Focus on the here and now to hear that lovely sound, she told herself.  Fading into dreamland would mean missing this gentle calming of her spirit.

It was her mother humming along as she tidied up after a busy day.  Missy heard her mom’s voice grow stronger as she walked by her room and put folded towels in the hall closet.  She heard it fade a bit as she moved to other areas of the house.  It was soothing.  When her mom was far from her room Missy anticipated and waited for her to walk close.  Oh how soothing it was to hear her mom’s voice sound so sweet.  It was healing to take it in; a sanctuary of safety to sense her mom’s submission to peace and abandonment of chaos.  Missy listened intently as her mom walked by her room again and into the bathroom.  Now the songs echoed off the bathroom tiles.  Like food for her soul.  Missy took in a deep breath, breathing in what the songs offered to her heart.  Out of the bathroom and into her mom and dad’s room the hums faded again.  Missy waited for her mom to come back down the hall.  Silence. 

Missy was wide a wake now, waiting for her mom to come back.  Her awareness shifted to the silence all around her.  Out of  the stillness she heard some noise.  She knew it was not real, but it sounded real.  Like a small whirlwind of noise from the day.  Slightly agitated at the interruption she tried to make out one particular part of the sound, but it seemed to be a bunch of particulars all jumbled together.  Her baby sister Candice insisting to be called Candy and not Candice, Her little brother Ralphy crashing his cars together on the floor, her older sister Sherry trying to teach her how to finish a sentence, her dad coming home from work.  Her mom washing the dishes.  Memories from the day piled onto each other. Each and every experience swishing together in her mind.  It grew louder in the stillness of Missy’s room.  She looked at her older sister in the bed next to hers.  Sherry was asleep. The lights were off.  She knew the room was silent but noise from the day flooded her head.  Louder and louder it grew.  Chatter of playing with her siblings, laughter, cries, cars driving by, birds singing in the trees.  Missy turned over and covered her ears hoping it would help.  Instead more layers piled on.  School, paint falling, teachers talking, lunchtime, dinner table, grumbles, stern frustrations.  On and on and all at once with no logic or order at all.

“Mom,” Missy’s own voice silenced the room.  She waited for her mom’s response.  “Mom!” she could feel the sounds of the day creeping in to invade again, but this time even more disorganized with no way to make sense of it.

Missy’s mom peeked her head in.  “Yes Missy.”  Silence again.

“Uoo sopped singin”

“Yes, I stopped singing because I’m done with my chores.”  Missy’s mom moved closer to Missy’s bed to tuck her in again.  “Ralphy wanted me to sing so I told him I would sing a little while I finished some chores.  I’m done now.”

“Oh pease oh pease don’t sop.” Missy pleaded.

Missy’s mom sat on the edge of the bed.  “I’m ready to go to sleep myself”

“I willy like it too.  Pease find moe choes to do?” Missy grabbed her mom’s hand.

“I’ll find a little more to do.”  Kissing Missy’s hand her mom added, “But you need to let yourself fall sleep.”  Missy held onto her mom’s hand tighter.  “Let’s pray.  Dear Jesus, help Missy have a peaceful sleep tonight.  A-man.”

Missy’s mother walked out the door and started to hum once again.  Like before the songs soothed the atmosphere in the room.  All the layers of the day disappearing.  Missy’s body relaxed.  Her mom’s tender touch to every note filled the space.  Missy thought that her mom might be making up chores to do, she might even have nothing left to put away.  But she didn’t mind.  Singing the night away, Missy thought.  Her mom walked by opening and closing cabinets, sharing her pleasant hums.  This time Missy did not want to hear it end so she gave into her body’s urge to drift into dreamland praying that the serene sounds would follow her there.  She allowed the songs to be more and more.  A slight awareness that her mom had stopped singing did not interfere with her mind replaying the tunes over and over again until finally it was part of her thoughts.  And ultimately, part of her dreams.

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8

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