I haven’t slept well the past few nights, but I had high hopes for last night. I was exhausted and we had fresh flannel sheets on the bed and when I got into bed I experienced that wonderful whole-body feeling of relief just to be laying down, which seems to happen on those days when I’m really tired and destined to sleep like a baby.
And then the wind began to howl. Every time I drifted off, the wind would rattle the windows and I thought the house was going to be blown down. I’d heard that really cold weather was on its way and I imagined it arriving with the wind, so the already-cold air in our room felt even colder to me and I huddled under the blankets and tried to block out the sound and just fall asleep.
It reminded me of my first nights after moving out of my parents’ house. My dorm building was constructed in a way that caused the wind to whistle and howl in an eerie way. Sometimes when it snowed, the air currents just outside my window made the snow blow upwards. My roommate, far away from her family for the first time in her life, was so homesick the loneliness came off her in waves. On the way back to the building one day in late fall, we both noticed at the same time that we could see our breath for the first time that season. We stood there under the streetlight breathing clouds at each other and giggling. I think that was the moment when we both realized it was going to be okay.