I?m at the age when sleep, especially during the night, is a very fragile commodity. The least little noise arouses my body to full consciousness. I say my body, because I?m not sure my brain is ever conscious. Too much evidence exists to make one believe there aren?t any conscious gray cells in my cranium. At least, that is the opinion of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, which she has expressed on more than one occasion.
The confusing thing about all of this is I have no trouble falling asleep during the day. Just let me sit down with a book in hand, and in no time I am in the world of Slumber-ella. To make matters even worse, the world could explode around me and I would never hear it.
This brings me back to my nocturnal sleeping habits. Why I can sleep during the day no matter what noise is buzzing around me and why I cannot sleep at night when even the slightest noise arouses me is beyond my comprehension.
I?ve tried all the remedies and still find myself unable to get a good night?s sleep. I once tried a nice hot cup of cocoa right before going to sleep, but I ended up spilling it on myself just when I dozed, which had the effect of reawakening me and alarming my wife.
Someone suggested once I try some light reading in bed just before going to sleep. I?m not sure why I?ve never thought of this before, but much to my delight it has worked.
I can?t tell you how delighted I have been to overcome my sleeping problem. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning refreshed from proper sleep during the night.
Then, my nocturnal world came to a crashing, chirping halt.
Three weeks ago come next Thurs- day, an incident happened to reverse all of the progress I made to date. Just as I was putting my book away and snuggling under the covers for a good night?s rest, my wife bolted straight up in the bed and exclaimed, ?What?s that noise??
We listened intently and sure enough, there was a foreign noise in the night.
Whispering, for what reason I don?t know, my wife confided to me, ?there is a cricket in our bedroom.? We both held our breath and listened.
Chirp ? chirp ? chirp.
?It sure sounds like a cricket to me,? I agreed.
Then she said those ominous words that began a nightmare of almost three weeks. ?Find that cricket and get rid of it.?
I got up, as any dutiful husband would, and tried locating where the noise was coming from. After 15 minutes of diligent searching I came to the conclusion that there was no cricket in our bedroom and that the noise was coming from outside.
I carefully opened the window, so as to not disturb whatever was out there making that noise. Listening carefully it dawned on me that a new neighbor had moved in to our backyard, precisely the tree right outside our bedroom window.
Chirp ? chirp ? chirp. Our new neighbor turned out to be a tree frog.
I want it known right here and now that I have nothing against tree frogs. I love animals and critters of all kinds. And normally I?m a congenial, easy-to-get-along-with fellow. I harbor no animosity toward my fellow man, fellow frog, or any of God?s creatures.
I do have one exception to this rule. Every rule has its exception. What would a rule be if it didn?t?
The exception is the tree frog in the tree outside my bedroom window. I?ve tried reasoning with this creature, even issuing an ultimatum. But as to this date nothing has convinced this devilish creature to keep quiet during the night.
All night long ? chirp ? chirp ? chirp.
I?m not sure exactly when it begins, this nocturnal serenade, but every morning at 6:11 he quits while it is still dark so I cannot locate him. I think this is a despicable trick.
For almost three weeks this nightly noise has gone continuously without a break.
Chirp ? chirp ? chirp.
Along about Wednesday night I was finally getting accustomed to this irritating chirp and was finally able to fall asleep. Then the despicable monster changed his tactics.
He chirp ? chirp ? chirped as usual and then paused. That silence was like a shotgun blast in the night and my eyes snapped open in full alert position. As suddenly as he stopped he began chirping again.
He chirped long enough to lull me into a false sense of security and just as I was about to doze off again the little rascal stopped in mid-chirp, causing me to come to full alertness again.
He now knows he has a captive audience for his chirp-chirp serenades and there is nothing I can do about it. Sleep, as I once knew it, has become but a fond memory.
As usual, I turned to the Bible for some consolation. By chance I stumbled onto Psalms 127:1-2 (KJV.)
?Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.?
Although many things can keep us awake, there is one sure way to a peaceful night?s sleep ? resting in the Lord who promises to give ?his beloved sleep.?