Late in the night has always been my favourite time of day. I love to wander the house at night while the world is quiet and soft. The only noise is the tick of the clock, the noise of my footsteps and the breath of my companions lost in their dreams.
Even when I go to bed at a decent hour, I rise in the middle of the night. It's been this way since I was young. I never wanted to sleep at night. It always seemed as though I was missing something. As I grew older, I realized what it was: the night time. I use the night time for soul searching, for relaxing, to recharge. I use the night for getting things done, for doing nothing and for thinking grand thoughts or none at all.
My mother used to do the same. She would always go to bed at the same time as my father. He worked early and long days, so they would go off to sleep together -- we could hear the quiet tones of discussion that encompassed the day's events and the week's plans. Then, when my father slept, my mother crept from the bed and wandered the house in the quiet. She would write letters to friends, she would cross stitch, she would read -- but mostly, she would revel in the time alone.
I was in my teens before I consciously noticed her habit of wandering during the night. I am sure she did it throughout my life. It seemed to me she liked best to sit at the table and write. She was known for long letters to friends and family -- tidbits about her day and ours; funny thoughts and observations; deep thoughts and words of advice.
It is in the middle of the night I feel closest to my mother now. I like to think of her sitting in the compatible silence recharging her batteries and finally relaxing for a few minutes. I like to think of her there, quietly writing as the dogs, the children and the husband slept in the other rooms.
As I sit here and write -- to my friends and family -- I like to think of her and thank her for the love of the quiet of the night.