Earning the Rest

So he went to sleep.

He slept for a long time.

When he woke up he was refreshed and rested.

from Caps for Sale told by Esphyr Slobodkina

I don’t remember the last time I woke up feeling refreshed and rested.

After sleep I feel groggy and sour-mouthed, my muscles creaky and my joints stiff and protesting. In the wake of exertion is when I feel calm and comfort, refreshed and rested.

I’m showered but there’s still a trace of dirt under my fingernails. I sit in the shade of the house below a cloudless blue sky, a beer in my hand, birdsong in my ears, and the smell of cut grass in my nose.

With the hum of completed yard work in my muscles and the bitterness of hops on my tongue, I feel refreshed and rested.

New running shoes tied to my feet, I set out, the cool sunrise air filling my lungs and raising the goosebumps on my arms. I feel joy knowing that, as my heart pumps my blood through my thighs and down to my feet and then back up to my lungs, my body will warm itself and the goosebumps will disappear.

Awakening to the strength in my legs and my heart, I feel refreshed and rested.

A crossword puzzle to my left and a cup of coffee to my right, I relax after a whirlwind trip through the house, sweeping, mopping, and dusting.

Amid the smell of dish detergent and black coffee and a momentarily clean house, I feel refreshed and rested.

The air against my body is like nothing as I move about, making beds. It’s not hot, it’s not cold. If it weren’t for the breeze rustling the curtains and ruffling the hairs on my arms, I wouldn’t be aware of the air around me at all. I turn my face towards the window and close my eyes and let the breeze brush against my forehead and cheeks.

With the fall air in my face, I feel refreshed and rested.