To nap with someone is the realization of your inner self. To sleep alone is misery.
My friend sent me this as a text message yesterday. We are both in the middle of exploring new relationships and trying to find that elusive thing called love. So we talk a lot. Calm each other's fears. Try to sort out what we hope will happen from what is really happening. Give each other support and warnings. And a few times, have even pulled each other from moments of dispair.
But this text message stopped me cold. "Realization of your inner self..." may seem like a lot to put on an ordinary nap. But it's not.
He is right.
When we are small, we nap in the safety of our cribs, our homes, usually with a parent nearby. Sometimes even cradled in the arms of someone who loves us. Safe. Protected. We rest and gain strength and recharge for the next adventures or tests we'll face after our nap. Whether it was an outing to the park or one more try at walking across the vast space that was the living room, after the nap we were ready.
As adults, most of us seldom nap. Unless we're sick, we are far from our beds from the beginning of our day to the end. If we're married or with a partner, we may share that bed at night. If we're single, we may spend our nights alone, or perhaps sometimes with a lover. We make love or read or watch tv in our beds...we are doing. Or it is nighttime and we are sleeping.
But a nap, as an adult, is different from other sleep. It is a return to that safety of infancy. It has no agenda. It's not about sex or night time. It's just about rest and renewal.
To share that moment of innocence and safety with another person is a profound act of trust. It is to admit our fatigue and our needs, and then to awaken in broad daylight again with this person next to us, all our flaws visible, faces bearing the marks of our pillows or our hands, hair messed up, perhaps even clothing rumpled if the nap was unplanned. It is to entrust our sleeping selves to this person who is sharing our bed while the rest of the world runs around outside our window.
It is to steal a moment from the time when adults are supposed to be productive or at least busy and return for just a moment to the freedom of our childhood.
You're right, my friend. I already owe you so many thanks for all our hours on the phone and the wisdom you've shared.
In return, I wish you someone to share a nap with...