One of the “beauties” of being bipolar is that there are nights when I can not sleep. I may toss and turn, pick up a book, put it down, take a shower, brush my hair, file my nails, listen to M*A*S*H reruns, check out Facebook updates, look for inspiring quotes on Instagram, do a little more tossing and turning, oh there’s an hour left before my alarm? Hmmm, maybe I’ll just get up and … oh look, an essay on Mary Oliver and happiness – I should email that to my nephew because it references nature and he loves nature. Oh, and I can send him “Wild Geese.” And then, oh look here, this article compares her to John Muir, one of Carrick’s sort-of heroes! Yep, send that one, too.
But here is the dawn. I’m not exhausted, which honestly surprises me since I’m usually exhausted even when I do sleep a little – it seems I am either thinking about sleeping, trying to sleep, or drinking coffee to get over being sleepy. Here is a morning coming in on the melodies of song birds outside of my window. They’re greeting the sun and each other for another day, a day to be thankful for simply because it is day and the sun will shine and we are alive.
There are green leaves out of every window I can see from my perch here on the bed. A sky still filled with darkness and gray, but just on the cusp of the pinks and oranges and marmalade yellows of a sunrise. They’ll come up along the rooftops across the street and cast themselves across the clouds, staining the horizon until the sun finally makes its debut.
I am a sun worshiper. The sun gives me energy, makes me feel hopeful and full of energy. It usually accompanies mania, though in a blessedly sunny summer, the manic days smear together like those pastel colors of sunrise. And, I’m happy enough with that. I will store up all of this energy, all of these good moments, this hope, for the winter when the days are short and the gray darkness is ever present – hopefully they will see me through.
I will plan to dip my pen of inspiration into the colored ink that is summer, sunshine, love, life, living, birds, windows down, music up, fans whirring, fires burning, s’mores melting, burgers grilling, ice cream runs to Fair Shake, drives around the Finger Lakes, Wisner Market Thursdays, festivals, fairs, and birthdays and draw lines, images, hope into the winter days and eternal nights until it is spring once more.
It is time to get ready – to embrace that the day is here for me, that I will try to make my way in the world, as we all do, that I will see my friends, learn about myself, take some risks, and wish for joy and love, as we all do. I may as well embrace a little Mary Oliver as the day begins.