Saturday, April 23, 2005


I am slowly waking up.  But I don't open my eyes, yet.  I feel like I am floating awake.  I can hear the drone of a bee outside the open window. 

I am in my mother's bed.  The big iron bed that was my grandmother's.  There is a sheet over me and I feel as if I am sinking down into the mattress.  I have been so sick, but I've had such a nice rest.  Now I hear a fly buzzing about.  I feel a little bit of a warm breeze coming through the window and it brushes a light kiss on my face.

I slowly open my eyes.  My mother is sitting beside me on the bed, facing me, reading a magazine.  I realize I'd been hearing the rustle of the pages as she turned them.  As she's reading she is slowly waving a fly swatter over me, shooing the fly that got in and that is trying to interrupt my rest.  My eyes close and I sink back into sleep.

I wake again.  I am warmer.  I don't really need the light sheet over me now, but I am too drowsy to push it off.  The warm breeze is making the white lacy curtains flutter a little at the window.  Now I hear the drone of a lawn mower in the distance.  I drift to sleep again.

I wake, but don't open my eyes.  There is a nice, comforting sound coming to me. A sloft swish, swish, swish, a muted thump, then a slight rustling.  Then the whole thing repeated.  I listen to this repeated refrain a few times before I push to open my eyes.  I see my mother at the foot of the bed, ironing.  Swish, swish goes her iron over the garment.  A soft, muted thump when she sets it down on the ironing board.  A slight rustle as she moves the garment around on the board or takes it off to replace it with another.  Occasionally she hums a partial tune, quietly, almost to herself.  What a wonderfully soft, gentle, comforting series of sounds  to awake to.                                                                                                                

 This is my "happy place" thought.  I was about six years old.  I don't know what I'd been sick with, but I can remember waking up and seeing my mother sitting there reading, fanning flies away from me.  And I remember waking to the sounds of her ironing and quietly humming.  Whenever I need a little comfort, a thought to take me back to a happy, secure feeling, this is the memory I turn to.