I love napping an unusual amount. When I think of high school and college, some of the sweetest memories that come rushing over me are of lazy afternoons when I came home to an empty house or apartment and threw myself into the soft arms of a delicious nap.
Even though I know better, I still tell the very un-riveting story of my best high school nap.
Class ended at 1:30 and by 1:35 I’d started the long walk across the parking lot to my car. Rain was on the way. During school I’d heard the thunder muttering and grumbling in the east. The sky was an angry color, turning the late afternoon into an other worldly something between night and day. Before I reached the car, I felt thick, warm drops on my face and soon it was dumping rain. I ran but it was too late and I was already soaked by the time I reached shelter inside my noble Ford Taurus.
In the pouring rain, I drove home as fast as I could and sprinted across the lawn into my empty house. Quickly, I changed into a long sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants, lay down on the couch, and fell into one of the best naps of my life. Something about the contrast between the warm interior and the harsh, wet exterior and the gentle darkness that filled my house and the feeling of shelter against nature’s wrath made it an important nap for me, one that I (obviously) still remember with fondness.
For me, the ideal interaction with nature is a nap. When I see majestic vistas, crystal waterfalls, or white desert landscapes filled with watery moonlight, I fantasize about curling up and falling asleep, embraced by nature itself. I imagine a soft green bed beneath a willow tree, the earth all dappled with late afternoon sunlight coming in from over the mountains. I would lay down in my sleep and become a part of the place itself and my being would meld with the trees and the earth and the light.
In my mind, the nap would take on a deeper meaning and become a spiritual experience. Yet I have found that no matter how deep I sleep and no matter how peaceful or well rested I feel upon awaking, my naps are just naps, little sleeps enriching my day before I enter the big sleep and then the biggest sleep. I believe the spiritual disciplines of trances and meditation have come from the deeply human desire for spiritual slumber. Perhaps one of these days I will try those methods, but until then I will keep on napping and never stop.