There is a low, guttural growl as my dog acknowledges the approaching thunderstorm.
The rain taps the window in a gentle, rhythmic cadence.
The headlights of a passing car enter the room through narrow openings in the curtains. The slices of light jump on the ceiling and slowly circle the room stretching into long ribbons before they disappear.
A flash of light fills the room, unnaturally bright for middle of the night.
The crack of thunder follows behind, then rumble of displaced molecules banging together in the thick air.
I remember laying in bed in the front room of my grandmother's house on N. 21st Street as a child. The house that my Aunt now owns and where she raised her three fabulous children. The house where my mother lived when she was in high school, and when she met my Dad, and when she got married.
I remember watching the same headlights move through the room, listening to the same rain on the window. I was in Kindergarten, the same age that my oldest son is now. I remember lying awake in the darkness thinking about the sleep that refused to come, listening to the sounds outside the house. My brain alive with activity, questions, ideas, story lines.
The make and model of the passing car has changed, but not much else.
I have the oneness now, the authority to get up in middle of the night. I can put on a pot of coffee and give into the insomnia. I can make the decison to allow the thoughts to pour out of my brain, fingers tapping on the keyboard of my laptop, the rich smell of coffee in the air.
Tomorrow I may be tired but right now I feel in control, harnessing the energy and channeling it into my work. I am thankful that after 30 years of lying sleepless in bed, I have finally granted myself permission to be awake.