What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
~~Tatiana from A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare
September~~A month with diary pages written in the charcoal smudge from burning brush piles and a pen pocked with pollen from goldenrod and ragweed. This morning’s words are courtesy of a 4:37 a.m. itch to both get up and stay in bed–as well as a literal itch of the chigger bites between my toes, shoulder blades, and butt cheeks. The scratching on my torso triggers the scratching of Echo (Tanna’s kitty) outside my door, so I give in, get up, and write.
Summer Solstice~~the words read like poetry and trickle like magic when they fall from the lips. Though that date feels like ages ago, my mind has been revisiting the sun’s early rise and lazy exit each day since. In my escapist brain, I often hope for Midsummer’s Dream fairies to land on the flowers outside my window or rest their wings on my shoulder when I am laying in the grass talking to the trees (thus, the chiggers!)
From a writing perspective, it’s been a mostly silent summer for me. If it hadn’t been for my literary sylphs, Roseanne, Dailyn, Sammie, and Monica, the pixie dust would have accumulated in the vacant hallways that have become my blog. I’ve been wandering under a spell. Not a magic spell laced with purple pansy or magic beans; instead a hex laden with schedules, airplane terminals, and distraction. And minimal sleep.
Perhaps you have been living in a haze, too? Summer begins with high hopes and tends to stop short because of school days that enter too soon despite our children’s desperate attempts to stay in bed till noon one day longer.
Since I was old enough to read The Illustrated Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales (over and over and over), I’ve yearned to own a pair of gossamer wings or magic shoes myself. Just for fun, and in blatant disregard for adulthood, I tuck miniature furniture and birdhouses into my garden pots in case an elf or nymph needs a place to stay for the night. I’ll neither confirm or nor deny that I peek under the morning’s new toadstools looking for fantasy swag.
Yes, I’m a grown woman, but the childlike fascination has never gone away. Even my daughter’s name, Tanna, means “Queen of the Fairies”–though I didn’t know that at the time of the choosing.
I’ve been working on this “piece” since last week (or was it the week before? It’s all fuzzy), and my mind keeps whisking me back to seventeen. A moment I remember in my bedroom–a space between not asleep, and not yet awake. My eyes were closed, and I was traipsing in some sweet dream probably involving a boy. There was a light tickle across my cheek. A caress and a kiss and a reprieve of breeze in a bedroom that was an oven in the summer, and a meat locker otherwise. I could feel myself straining to be awake, but begging to stay asleep, and languishing long enough to find the handsome owner of those gentle fingers. I giggled with my eyes shut because I knew the sensual stroke was courtesy of the curtain sheers brushing my face, and that the fairy prince in my dream would arrive much later in life.
I relish those moments before the sunlight weaves its wavy tendrils between eyelids and lashes. The times that sleep tries to sneak away while the subconscious grasps to the fleeting tic toc before the alarm clocks chimes a reminder of responsibility and mission. The sweet seconds before dreams end and constraint begins.
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away...
Even with the allure that sleep brings, I am ready to wake from a dreamless slumber. It’s past time to emerge from the haze of ridiculous, distracted and unreachable. The reality is that I already live with a tribe of fairies under my sensible, storm-proof roof, and I don’t need daydreams or fancy fairy condos to attract them.
Oberon, the good-natured trickster I married, makes me laugh and reminds me to stay present. I birthed a fairy queen over twenty-two years ago, and my Tatiana started nursing school this fall semester. Puck keeps me on my toes with his post-school day, fill-the-room-with-uppercuts comedy and depletes my food supply in keeping with football practice and physics. I don’t need Shakespeare’s band of merry players because mine is gathered at the kitchen counter each evening.
I have enjoyed my mostly silent summer, but I’m longing, aching, reaching for the keyboard. And the stories? They are there. They never left. I can almost see the words now–lingering in that space before sleep leaves and awake arrives.
And how about you? Are you ready to wake with me? I could use the company.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.