I’ve just reached the tail end of a pretty crazy exam period involving hominins, Indigenous knowledge, medical anthropology and the environment. Admittedly, I’m not sure how well I did, but one of my study methods involved voice-recording all of my notes and listening to them on repeat in bed, night after night, in the blind hope that I’d absorb something in my sleep. This went on for three weeks. Every night. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well.
My lovely Labrador, Sheldon, suffered through my droning dulcet tones, too. For three weeks, he grunted and grizzled, nudged and huffed during the night from his nest of blankets, then looked at me with bloodshot eyes when the time came to roll out of bed and hit the pavement for our morning walk.
I’m still in that hyped, stressed out study mode, so yesterday I downloaded some mindfulness podcasts to help me reach for that illusive sleep. Expecting another sleepless night last night, I turned off the light and hit play.
Sheldon immediately let out the long, drawn out huff of the damned.
I patted his head and told him he was beautiful, while in background the podcast dreamily spoke about embracing the moment.
Sheldon replied by kicking me in the legs.
I took it for the sign it was; I turned off the phone, settled into the darkness and listened to something I hadn’t heard in three weeks: silence.
Sheldon huffed again, this time in bliss.
It was the best sound I’d fallen asleep to in weeks.