Sleep At All Hours
The three big Christmas trees continue to sparkle. The music, gauzy and classical, drifts through the old house like a mist. The sheets are linen and the blankets, wool. Down pillows are fluffed like marshmallows and clothing is warm and rather eccentric. The books, oh the books.... all crisp, all new...massive, slipcased and magically illustrated or small and utterly engrossing..... are stacked in teetering towers beside me. The drinks are hot and the food.... is pie. All responsibility has been banished - flown with a whoosh out the shuttered window, not to return for at least one week. I shall venture outside my wooden door for only two good reasons..... long, bracing walks with a furry dog in the cloudy cold, or a comfortable seat in a darkened movie theatre. And I shall sleep at all hours, whenever I wish.
One of the best weeks of the year!
.....Just as the spiniest chestnut-burr
Is lined within with the finest fur,
So the stoney-walled, snow-roofed house
Of every squirrel and mole and mouse
Is lined with thistledown, sea-gull's feather,
Velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together
With balsam and juniper, dry and curled,
Sweeter than anything else in the world.
O what a warm and darksome nest
Where the wildest things are hidden to rest!
It's there that I'd love to lie and sleep,
Soft, soft, soft, and deep, deep, deep!
From the Poem, Winter Sleep by Elinor Wylie