Last night at 3 a.m. I awoke from a sound sleep to find myself sitting up, disoriented, scared, and holding my breath.
As my sleeping brain retreated and my waking brain asserted control I realized that I was staring at a spot a few feet from my bed, and that I fully expected to see something there.
Unable to move I sat, frozen, piercing the moonlit darkness with a laser beam stare.
But there was nothing to see beside my bed, absolutely nothing.
I knew what I was looking for. The memory of a child and three baseball sized lights, two white and one red, was clear in my mind. They had been beside my bed, just moments before, as I slept.
I had awakened just in time to see them shoot out my window and disappear into the night sky.
Or, at least, that’s how it seemed to me in my half-awake state.
The lack of oxygen to my lungs finally forced me to take a breath, and somehow that one action snapped me out of my daze.
I climbed out of bed, and looked out at the night sky. Everything was as it should be, amid the tree tops was a mishmash of clouds, stars, and moonlight.
No baseball sized lights zipping around among to trees. No child mysteriously floating by.
It had all been a dream. A surprisingly disturbing dream, but a dream nonetheless.
Whatever does my brain think it’s doing, waking me at 3 a.m.?
Doesn’t it know I need my sleep?