Saturday, December 7, 2013

365 Inspirations—341: Beach Walking and a Long Winter's Nap

"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap."—Barbara Jordan

Today we went beach walking at Discovery Park. It was bitter cold outside. Who, in their right mind, would go to the beach on a day like today?

Nevertheless, we bundled up and headed out.

Suddenly, while staring down over a cliff at the murky greens and blues of Puget Sound, I recalled my dream from the previous night. I saw that exact water in my dream. The same color, the same everything. The only difference was that the water was warm and people were swimming in it.

My husband is usually pretty quiet on our walks, but suddenly memories of beach walking in Korea along the East Sea started flooding back to him.

He began to recount these stories to me. He talked about how he loved walking alone or with friends along the beach in the winter and how they'd always stop by a tea house after and drink tea. They'd talk about their dreams and ideas and sometimes stay until the shop was about to close. Usually they weren't ready to go home, so the shop keeper, out of kindness, would make them all steamy bowls of ramen before they left.

I listened with intent, happy to hear my lovely husband, who is normally quiet and contemplative, become chatty and full of enthusiasm while retelling these stories.

We stopped by our favorite fish stand on the way home and got a salmon taco, right down by the fishing boats that make their way to Alaska in the summer and fall.

When we got home, I was so exhausted. There was no real reason why I felt like this. I hadn't exerted more than the usual energy on our walk, but I wanted nothing more than to sink down in my bed under the thick pile of blankets with a good book, a cookie and a glass of milk. And that I did.

I am not a 'nap' person. I rarely, if ever, take naps, but today I slept for a very loooonnngg time in the middle of the afternoon.

A friend, who went with us to Sedona on one of our yoga retreats, left a book with us. It's not what I usually read. It's an old Russian novel called The Golovlovs by M. Saltykov-Shchedrin. It was rated "among the very best novels in the world" by Arnold Bennett. The Golovlovs is one of the last translated, but highest-ranking, realistic novels of nineteeth-century Russia. Somehow I got swept up into the characters of the novel.

Under the warmth of my blankets I'd read a dozen pages or so and then doze off for an hour, read more pages and then doze off for another 30 minutes. I swear that when I dozed off I was dreaming of the characters in this book. They played out on the movie screen in my dreams.

There's something that seems very natural about napping in the winter, especially when it's freezing out. There are icicles outside, but you are inside, warm and toasty with a good book. When I awoke the first time, the sun was starting to set, casting an orange glow on my backyard. The second time I awoke, it was pitch dark outside and I drew the shades and continued reading more.

Not sure how I will sleep tonight given that I napped all day. But I'm ready to go back to my cozy bedroom and continue on with the book and see how far I get before I fall asleep.

Do you enjoy taking naps?

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