Spring in Fall, or How to Sleep Like a Log


It feels like a spring day, not the middle of fall. 124 days from the summer solstice, the sun is as bright as a day in late February. Just two more months and the days start getting longer. The ducks have found a dry, sunny spot in a woodshed to dry and preen their feathers. Watching ducks preen melts all your worries away. It’s cheap therapy.


Bicycling to the post office on a day like today is cheap therapy too. Last week I heard Terri Gross interview sleep scientist Matthew Walker. In the interview she made a comment that made me laugh. When Mr. Walker told her that he tries to get eight hours of sleep every night, she gasped, “Eight hours in bed every night! How in the world do you do it? … Most people don’t have eight hours available to sleep.”

It made me wonder if that is really true, and if it is true, what sort of mad world have we made that most people don’t have enough time to sleep? I am a very sound sleeper. Once as a child, I fell off a top bunk onto a hard wood floor and didn’t wake up. When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t figure out why I was sleeping in the lower bunk because I knew I went to bed in the upper bunk.

Plant rows of garlic, chop wood, clean out the chicken coop, bicycle to the post office and back, rake leaves, watch the ducks preen themselves, take in the beauty of fall, and you will sleep like a log for eight hours without any effort.

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