Sleeping With Whiffer
I have been sleeping quite well. Of course, I’m physically exhausted because of my time with the goats, but I also think the depth of my sleep is aided by the lavender sachet I keep in my pillowcase. The first few nights I used it, I was annoyed by the strong perfume of the herb, but it truly did (and does) promote a good night’s sleep. On those nights when I’ve been agitated, I’ve been taking a mixture of either valerian or passionflower extract in water; both are soothing and calming; my herbal course is teaching me so much.
On Saturday morning, my first order of business was preparing a meal for Earl; I completed this before Peter even rose from bed, and when he did, I was ready to leave. I had plans to gather stinging nettle while I was on the Parkway, and left with my gathering gear and Earl’s lunch in hand. When I arrived, I was shocked to find Earl fast asleep; since his stroke last fall, I’ve been afraid to find him in distress when I arrive, and this morning shocked me. I leaned in closer, to see if he was OK, and saw that he was breathing, and snoring quietly. His belongings were lined up neatly and deliberately in front of him. It occurred to me then that he had endured a night of torrential rain and thunder, and had most likely been awake for a good part of it, so I left his food by his side and left him to his dreams. I can’t imagine being an “outdoor man”, as Earl calls himself. I can imagine it in the best of times, but not during floods, or blizzards, or windstorms. I remember what Van Gogh wrote about the mistrals; the relentless sound of the wind had an effect on a person’s mind. I wonder how Earl copes with the extremities he chooses to endure. I know what he’d say: “I just don’t think about it.”
"Starry Night", Vincent van Gogh