The Rehearsal

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rehearsal

The old clock by the fireplace ticked a late message, clearly conveyed with each hour that past. The sweet sound of its chimes wound down the long hallway to the bedroom where I sat in bed, snuggled down in soft pillows, reading. Once again, I’d stayed awake much too long. Once again, while the rest of my family slept, I was lost in the pages of a book, this time following behind a mysterious heroine as she roamed the dusty stacks of the Bodleian library. I shadowed her down the honeyed cobblestones of Oxford and into the wilds of Scotland and by the time I finally turned out the light, sleep was the last thing I now had on my mind. I closed my eyes but knew it was futile. Not wishing to wake The Songwriter with my tossing and turning, I scooped up my pillow and headed for the far part of the house to the little sleeping chamber under the owl-filled trees to read just a little bit more.

Having sneaked away so quietly, I did not expect to be followed, but I had not counted on Edward. Not two minutes passed by before I heard him come into the room. Peering up over my book I could see him, staring, fur mussy from sleep, sitting like a polar statue in the dark at the foot of my bed. I knew what that stare meant. And he was right, of course. I should go to sleep. Morning would be awful if I didn’t. Closing my book with a sigh, I patted the side of the bed and Edward sprang up in an instant - turning once, settling in, his big furry head resting on my tummy. We closed our eyes to sleep. And that’s when the rehearsal began.

It was true the night choir out in the back garden was lacking some members this early in Spring. Some musicians were late in returning from their long winter break to places unknown. I noticed the sopranos were just a bit thin and supposed the cicadas had yet to arrive. And the rhythm section sounded slightly weak as not all of the crickets were back. But the tree frogs and nightingales filled in the gaps with a gusto worthy of August. And the Great Horned Owls harmonized up above me in a duet that was fit for the angels. Together they sang a wild lullaby in round sonorous notes, just for those like myself who’d stayed awake much too long.

The music they made meant my book was forgotten.

My eyes were now heavy, I was ready to dream.

And Edward, as usual, was right.

I needed to go off to sleep.