Worry lifts me from a fitful sleep and lies me supline, floating an inch above the mattress. My arms are still, my legs motionless. I keep my eyes sealed and take shallow breaths. I pray, quiet repetitive prayers that are wide open to God’s interpretation and intended to cover everything that worries me. “Please, God. Please. Please, God. Please.” I don’t believe the prayers. I could be saying, “Cheeseburgers. With ketchup. Cheeseburgers. With ketchup.” The prayers are meaningless. The depth of their emptiness compounds my worry. I hover over my bed with no good spirit to push me down or pull me up. My eyes open and I look around the dark bedroom without moving my head. My heart jumps rope. The back of my neck flutters with an echo. My shoulders quietly tremble beside my neck. My limbs hover. I pray for sleep. I pray for a still heart, however it can come. I pray for belief in prayer, which used to sit beside me in a rocking chair, tapping its toe to fall back and forth quietly. It placed a warm hand against my cheek so I could sleep. Now it sits on top of the door in the corner of the room and laughs at me.
Relief shakes out the crumpled sheets in the morning. The sheets are soft and worn. The sun pushes through the horizontal blinds. Insistent. When I lift the blinds, sunshine pours across the unmade bed. Or it doesn’t. The sound of rain fills the room with small clapping hands. The air is clear and light and I’m tired but a stretch wakes me, and I can do the day. I am filled with gratitude that things are okay, that life isn’t knocking me to my knees on the floor. There is nothing in this world as good as a deep breath that isn’t dragging with worry. I believe that things are okay and nothing sits on the door in the corner. The rocking chair sways just a bit beside the bed.