In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
Robert Louis Stevenson, Bed in Summer
This is definitely how my boys are feeling right now.
Just five more days of school, they tell me, and then bedtimes can be adjusted to accommodate more evening play.
This afternoon, when I was looking for Dylan at one point, I found him out in the yard, just sitting. When I asked him what he was doing, he said: Oh, just out here listening to nature. In June, nature is definitely taking center stage. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to ignore her right now, and the curtain is still falling later and later each day.
As for me, I kind of like to retire early some summer evenings to our treehouse-like bedroom and watch the birds and squirrels chasing each other through the huge elm and oak canopies. Then again, I can choose to go to sleep whenever I want to, so this isn’t the same for me as it is for the kids. As usual, Robert Louis got it exactly right.
Maybe, if one were really lucky, one could just lie down in a field of daisies like that pictured above, and go to sleep there.
Which compels me to ask this question:
In summer, are beds even necessary? Perhaps this is the time of year when we should let our bodies follow the rhythm of the seasons so closely that we simply fall asleep, wherever we are outside, when we have finally tired of playing.
Ah, imagine what that freedom would mean to a child…it sounds like Narnia, doesn’t it?
Nevertheless, I must stop rambling now and succumb to sleep…I think I have already started to dream.
p.s. This is my 100th blog post!