The Afternoon Nap – Chapter Two, Twinkle Lights and Holiday Tunes

My afternoon nap had not happened for a few days and I had been all right with that since my last nap had involved a strange dreamlike trip to an unknown kitchen where I whipped up the greatest spiced tea and cookies ever known to man. Then I woke to find it all on the table beside me as if that was normal. I have yet to describe how I feel about that nap. It could not have been a dream and that is the strangest part of all. So what was it? I did not know. Even though it seemed harmless I was left with an odd feeling.

They always say that time erases “all whatever”. It could be wounds, memories, bad thoughts or pain. In my case, time had eventually erased my hesitation toward taking a nap after a few days and I was feeling game today. With my curiosity overpowering my need to have it all figured out before the next nap took place, I plopped onto the couch and settled in with a favorite magazine, deciding to make it a “moment” instead of just closing my eyes immediately. After perusing a couple of pages and catching up on the hot gift ideas that were suggested for the season, I was wishing that I had set the scene in my house a bit more for my “moment”. I had not turned on my twinkle lights or any holiday music and that did not seem like me since I loved this time of year and created my “moments” every chance I could. Where was my head? Maybe there were some lingering nap phobias roaming around in my head that I was too focused on after all.

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About halfway through my magazine, my eyelids were drooping and I was feeling ready to snuggle up under my blanket and close my eyes. I tucked the magazine next to me on the same table that only a few days ago had held some magic spiced tea and cookies. Pulling my cozy throw up under my chin, I drifted off happily thinking that I had really been missing my afternoon nap.

Feeling refreshed I opened my eyes, a bit hesitantly, and discovered that I indeed was not at my house. Nor was I inside the house from my previous nap. I was outside that house, outside looking into the kitchen that had so warmly welcomed me. The warm kitchen was a stark contrast to the coldness I was feeling now standing outside in all of this winter wonderness and I shivered. Even though I was somehow magically dressed for the weather wearing a parka type coat, a fluffy hat with matching mittens and boots that I had never seen, I was still cold. I turned around and noticed that I was standing near the evergreen trees that I had seen from inside. They were still covered by twinkling lights and fallen snow and they looked so magical. Even though it was not snowing now, there must have been a fresh snowfall recently because no footsteps could be seen, not even from a rabbit…or a reindeer, I thought. There was that childlike imagination again.
I wandered into the trees still keeping track of the house. I knew that I should be able to follow my footsteps back out the same way that I had gone in, but my rural roots taught me to use a backup, as did the Hansel and Gretel story. There were so many trees, all decorated with lights of various colors and sizes. It seemed like it would be impossible for someone to set their yard up like this, even all of those crazy holiday homes that compete against each other on TV would never have been able to do this. It was so simple, just lights, but so grand at the same time. It was a magical winter forest wonderland and nothing that my childlike imagination could have conjured up on its own.

It was so quiet, except for the faintest sound that seemed to be carried on the lightest breeze and I stopped to listen closely. The stillness was so quiet that it was almost deafening. But then I heard it again. A faint tune, the quietest whisper of music, holiday music. It paired beautifully with the twinkle lights but where was it coming from? I could not make out anything in between the trees so I wandered in a bit further. After walking for a few moments I could no longer see the house now that I was in the midst of the trees and the music seemed to be louder. The breeze had stopped and I wondered if that was why the music seemed louder. I still could not figure out where the music came from, it really just seemed to be hanging in the air, as if it were part of the beautiful winter scene and not some intrusion from a music player.

Once again, I was puzzled, yet calm. Even though it did not make any sense at all, I was content to just accept it and enjoy it. I did not want to miss a moment of this magical event by analyzing what surely had to be something logical. Eventually I would figure it out and then the fun of it all would fizzle. In some deep part of my heart there was a belief that holiday winter magic was behind all of this, even though grownups knew that was impossible. Being a grownup was not always fun so I stood there silently, feeling the magic of the lighted trees and the music surrounding me. I am not sure how long I stood there, but eventually my frozen feet made me come to my senses. I took one last look around and then followed my footsteps back out of the magical lighted woods and headed toward the house. I felt a little guilty marring the snow in this winter wonderland with my footsteps, so I tried to step in the ones that I had already made when I set off on my meanderings.

Back at the house, I peered in the window again but saw no one. There was a fire blazing and the house still had that warm lived-in holiday look of the season. It looked as though someone was going to bake, just as it had the day that I had been there because the counters were all set up with baking gear. I wiped the coldness from my eyes and when I looked into the kitchen again I was surprised. Was that a cup of steamy tea and a plate of cookies on the table that I had sat at? No, it couldn’t be. Could it? Was it for me again or was there another naptime visitor on the way? I had no idea and did not know whether I should go to the front door and knock. But what would I say if someone was actually there and did open the door? Telling them that I was the one who had been there a few days ago when I came during a dreamlike nap adventure was surely not the way to go. Nor was telling them that I had been wandering in their back yard, saw that they had cookies and tea set out while I just happened to be looking in their windows and was wondering if it was for me. Nope, that was not a good idea either.

The cold made my eyes squinty and I rubbed them with my hand as I let out a big yawn. When I opened my eyes to look into the kitchen again, I was back on my own couch still covered with my cozy throw. No parka or fluffy hat and mittens and no boots. Just the same comfy clothes that I had been wearing.

Craziness. It was pure craziness. What was going on here? My insides felt all tingly as if I was filled with butterflies. I wondered if there would be a clue on the little table but I was not sure that I wanted to find anything there. Without that evidence, I might be able to convince myself that somehow this really was all a dream. I had not had anything to eat or drink this time so logically there would not be anything to put on the table, right?

“Chicken”, I taunted myself. I sat frozen unable to turn my head.

“Go ahead, take a look”, I said a little less confidently.

I closed my eyes as I turned my head, as if that would somehow be helpful. My eyes opened first with a squint and then they popped opened wide. In front of me were beautiful twinkle lights decorating the inside of my house in all of the rooms that I could see from my couch, so many more than I had put out for the season. They were all on and shining. And what was that sound? Music? Yes, it was holiday music playing so softly just like I had heard in the woods.

On the table next to me sat a CD case wrapped with only a red bow. It was sitting right on top of the magazine that I had been looking at before I fell asleep.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: “The Afternoon Nap, Chapter Two” | Make it, Bake it or Buy it...Recipes!

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