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Comforting Things for Uncertain Times
I don’t know why but it seems that everything is more scary at night. If there is a pain anywhere in the body or worry on the mind, it escalates at night. Then there are the things that go bump in the night that may have also bumped in the day but the sound is more sinister and mysterious at night.
At night when sleep doesn’t come and the mind races and thinks about problems, it helps to think of comforting things. One way to think this way, especially at night, is a way that my friend, Lois, shared with me. Sometimes at night when she can’t go to sleep right away, she uses her imagination and thinks of comforting things. She closes her eyes and imagines the house where she lived as a child. Although the house no longer exists today, she could still see every detail in her mind as she would slowly walk up the pathway and enter her house. I decided to try this for myself one night.
Come along and see:
As I close my eyes, I can see my childhood home in front of me. I hear tiny pieces of gravel beneath my feet crunch as I leisurely walk toward the steps to the porch. I see the piece of sidewalk near the steps that has a deep crack and sits a little crooked. As I go up the steps, to my right there’s an old wagon wheel, painted white, with a pinkish white hibiscus flower growing around and through the spokes of the wheel. As I step up on the porch, I feel the coolness of the concrete beneath my bare feet. My dog, Gerty, is lying on an old rug near the porch swing and jumps up, wagging her tail, to greet me. I stop to pet her and then I walk over and open the screen door. I step into the house and I hear the sound of the screen door as it slams behind me. I smell vanilla and I know Mama is making vanilla pudding and it makes my mouth water as I hope there will be a banana to add to that pudding. I can see the kitchen off to my right from where I’m standing, and Mama is stirring the pudding as she moves it from the stove. She’s wearing a black summer dress with swirls of pink and white flowers on it, she looks beautiful to me. I put the books I have carried home from the bookmobile on the table to my left. I will read them later. Further in front of me and to the left is the radio. KIRX radio station is playing a song and the Everly Brothers are singing, “All I Have to Do is Dream,” and I sing along with the radio. Daddy walks in from the kitchen. He smiles and adds harmony to my melody then he reaches for Mama and dances with her.
That’s all I remember before I fell asleep but my friend was right. It was very comforting to think about those things. Whether your thoughts go to your home place or to your favorite fishing hole, it’s worth thinking about good things that brought us comfort in the past, especially during trying times.
One of my most comforting childhood memories is lying in bed after prayers and hearing the comforting sounds around me. Sometimes Daddy was still up, walking around the house playing the accordion and I was lulled to sleep by songs like Sentimental Journey. Other comforting things before falling asleep were the sounds of evening. Sounds such as dishes being put away in the kitchen, doors being shut for the night, a horse neighing in the pasture, and the comforting sound of the lonesome train whistle in the distance. To feel safe and secure in the sameness of life and knowing my family was near was a blessing. I think Robert Browning captures this thought with his line, “God’s in His Heaven and all is right with the world.” Comforting words that tell us that in this uncertain world, we can know peace.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
by Robert Browning
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven,
All’s right with the world!
Contributed by Pamela Perry Blaine