It may seem a small thing, but… I never sleep all night through, even using my CPAP.

Several years ago, I didn’t sleep well at all. (Pre-CPAP) I woke up repeatedly during the night, my mind spinning out of control. Anxiety. Panic. No way to shut it down. I found my own use for a rosary in those days. Instead of a Mystery, I would try to focus on just one of the great cloud of worries, and hand it over. Then, came the Hail Mary’s as I tried to let go. Next, decade, I would try to single out another worry and let go. Some nights I think it took all 15 to calm down enough to try to sleep.

Quiet. What a gift! Now I still wake up a few times per night. But it is different. If I lay on one side for too long, my hip hurts and I wake up. If I am on my back, sometimes my arm will go to sleep and I will wake up. And there’s that stupid hose that pushes air into the CPAP mask and tangles me up at times. But — the mind in quiet. The cloud of worries has dissipated. The present lives. I breathe. I am. Aaah.

It was a pretty useless cloud of worries — a list of things that I could not control or things that I had “done wrong” that took great joy in hounding me. It was a cloud intent on keeping me from peace, from the present and always in the past or future. May it never return.