Monday, 14 April 2008

Sacred Siesta

There is, for me at least, an empty space in the middle of the day - the mid afternoon time, I mean - between, I would say, 2.30 and the early evening. Yes, it's a rather vacant time for me - not my best time of day! If I have been able to get up (fairly) early and do what I can up to post lunch, I am left with not knowing what to do or not having the impetus or enthusiasm to do the things I want or should. And so I find myself longing for the middle of the evening - usually about 8pm - when there seems to be a reason and permission to do certain things. It may be that the end of the day is ticking closer and so it gives that added impetus to get on with things and get things done. Alternatively, it also gives you permission to do nothing: the day's work is done and it's time to relax in a slumber in front of the TV and wait for the time when tiredness makes you unable to do anything!

Yes, it's the middle of the afternoon that's a useless time for me. Of course, it's rather different when you're in work or in a routine but when there is no routine or work forced upon you, or you are able to work to your own rhythm, things are made more difficult by the afternoon slumber. So, I propose a major change to the way we live! It will mean a number of things, I think, including a change in the weather which I think will be the most difficult thing to achieve! You see, the Mediterranean countries have got it right. At the hottest part of the day things begin to close down and slow down, and people take to their siesta time. Of course, each country that takes a siesta has its own specific practice or tradition but the idea is much the same. In parts of Argentina, for instance, it occurs between 1 and 4 pm and the time is held as 'sacred' - nobody wants to be disturbed!

I'm glad I found that word 'sacred' attached to my plans! My mind turns back to the words of the Psalmist: 'He gives to his beloved sleep!' (Psalm 127). In fact, I've just done a quick cross reference on biblical texts on sleeping and it rather supports my cosmic plan. Of course, sleep doesn't have to be about laziness. I wouldn't want to step on St Benedict's toes for whom laziness is 'the enemy of the soul' and who had a healthy and helpful work ethic. I've got some back up plans as well. If the weather doesn't change I may have to move to Spain or Italy in order to justify my Siesta! of course, I'm not averse to that option - it would be rather nice! But, since neither the weather nor the climate will change today, nor will I be magically transported to Rome (not today, anyway!) I think I may just switch off my mobile phone and go to bed.

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