It takes some time for everyone to settle down. The child tells a thousand stories before bedtime and once in bed remembers the most important things while lying down. When you lie flat on your back, perspectives shift. So, another thousand things come up – they need to be told until suddenly it’s quiet.
The big young dog wants to run and play before bedtime. It chases shadows and can probably see ghosts, sometimes it’s just cars driving by, painting the bedroom walls with light, but sometimes there really are ghosts. Ghosts are tricky, you cannot snap at them, you cannot chase them, but they are felt. The dog circles the bed a few times, looks at me, curls up and falls asleep. I envy the dog for the ability to fall asleep so easily.
The friend and the small old dog stay up longer. The friend usually has some programming to finish. He always makes promises to himself that he will not work late nights any longer, then a project does not go as planned and he breaks his promise. He has a daylight lamp, which has a blueish light, that feels cold to me but helps him stay awake. The small dog needs a walk later at night. I guess its job is to check for ghosts outside the house. After the walk, dog and friend have a snack and go to bed.
Then there are the bunnies who don’t really do human sleep hours, but even they stop roaming eventually.
When everyone is asleep, the child, the friend, the small dog, the big dog and the bunnies and the house is quiet, except for the old oil heating system which hums and crackles and the occasional distant car sound, a rooms opens up. It’s the quiet room, where I can sit and rest and think things I cannot fathom elsewhere. The room isn’t there, when I’m alone. It needs my affiliated family, their presence is like a distant, but solid embrace. When I’m alone, it’s wide spaces all around. In the quiet room I’m neither lost nor found.