I don’t sleep well anymore. It could be the child, or the age, or the lack of exercise, but whatever mix of brain chemistry and midnight visits from a small boy in footie PJ’s is to blame, insomnia is a frequent bedfellow. My sleepless nights are often the same: I lay in bed for hours, right on the cusp of sleep, with my brain circling obsessively around a problem (usually one that is non-existent in daylight hours, sometimes one that is actually a product of a dream), never quite getting a hold of it. On those nights, I need something real, something solvable, to whack my brain out of its circular rut and into a path that might lead to sleep.
Nothing much is fail safe when it comes to insomnia, but gardening actually works better than Benadryl, my other midnight friend. No, I don’t go outside and dig in my nightgown. I lay in bed and plan. Scheme. Rip out beds, replant them with fabulously expensive drifts of tree peonies. Buy the house next door (the boarding house, not our nice neighbors), knock it down, and make a market garden in their yard that allows me to quit my job and live on fennel and peas. Last night I planned a way to connect the house to the back garden by taking off the railing of the deck and building terraces from the top of the deck to the lawn below. Its doable. It did it last night, in the wee hours of the morning, and didn’t even break a sweat. I did it in my sleep.