Things usually look better in the morning. Whether it is a block of sleep or the sun rising, whatever scrapes at the inside of your skull late at night has mellowed by morning. Sleep gets the credit in my mind. Sleep means I shut the monster down for six hours during which I stop ruminating. My subconscious gently parodies and roasts some of my worst fears and I wake with a Don Quixote hangover praying no one took cell phone snap shots of me tilting at windmills. Last night, all those fears and frets made perfect sense. Their interconnection was a simple strand of pearls, perfect, cultured and refines. By morning, they have become dyed macaroni noodles strung on orange yarn. They are still real but far less impressive, even a bit childish. But aren’t fears often the last remnants of our inside child?

Sleep also acts as a sieve. Like a gold digger panning in a creek bed, every pebble is a strike, a potential nugget. Last night, every thing caught my mind’s eye with import, illuminated with just the narrow beam of the light on my miner’s cap. Morning brings the benefit of sunlight and all that seemed significant and worthy of speculation is plain old rocks and debris. It is easy to get misled by a faint shimmer of something in the dead of night that in the morning sunrise sparkles no more than salt. So, stake no claims in the darkness. Get a night of sleep, let the sunrise and reassess.

It is possible those fears you dreaded in the wee night hours were real. In the morning sunrise, as you drink your coffee beside the spent embers of the campfire, you see the beast’s tracks all through your camp site. You weren’t imagining that fear and the prickly sensation that something lurked just outside the range of your wimpy flashlight was real, huge and predatory. Learning that the beast prowls so close means that tonight, you set up a better night watch, you load the guns, you don’t bank the fire but instead, build it bigger and you kill something far off in the distance and leave it as an offering for that beast. Let it feast upon someone else’s bones. Lure it away from the place you must camp at night so that you feel safe. And when morning comes again, you can get back to panning for gold in them thar hills.

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