Night Aire: I may be crazy, but I take pleasure in sleeping without the AC
Air swirls over my toes, dances on my chest, and sings softly to the planes of my face. I’m on my back, the ceiling fan moving the night air that comes through the open windows. I’m in heaven.
No more claustrophobic, bound-up airless room. In winter in the Midwest, it’s a necessity to have the periodic blasts of furnace hot air to keep the room at 58 while we pile ourselves with blankets. But spring and summer are throw-off-the-covers break-out times—throw open the window, crank out the glass, — live green, live economical, sleep with the windows open.
It’s spa-like, truly. The ingredient: night air. Often it’s moist and cool; sometimes it quivers and shimmers with cricket sound and tree frog sound; or the neighbor’s dog bark, which rises out of the stillness—that’s okay when the bark summons up the childhood echoes of distance from danger, protection, guardianship; it’s not acceptable if the bark is just annoying persistence.
Sometimes there’s rain, the splash and droplet-dance of water which quiets the crickets and fills up the night as it taps on metal chimneys or window glass, dampening and cooling the air as the wind in the water rises and falls.
And night air awakens memories. Use them to ride slowly and inevitably into sleep—the iconic spring night when the room’s shades bloomed with blue moon shadows and a man or a woman grabbed a hand and asked for your love always;
or when carefully moving your baby-filled belly in sleep, the cramping and pain woke you to night air and the dawning of the day of your child’s birth;
or alone in your car you rushed into the sultry navy-blue night, pushing ahead of traffic lines or wandering country lanes—the freedom of wheels singing on pavement, open windows calling you forward.
If the mercury rises above 92 and the humidity is high, the windows have to close and back on goes the AC. We are fortunate to have it. Many nights I slept up against the window sill of my childhood home, breathing in a heat-heavy night, stripped down to underwear, unable to drift off because of laughter from the porch across the street or footsteps crunching in the gravel of the alley or love-talk from two strollers floating up to me from the sidewalk. Cool closed-up atmospheres are sleep inducing, but the electric bill is a drag and I become disconnected from the natural world and its summer rituals and thrills.
Is the bard-owl hooting? How intense are the crickets tonight? In my near-woods backyard the creatures of the night—cats, possum, raccoons, mice, frogs, owls, even an occasional fox—fill up my territory and sometimes things on the deck crash or the small water fountain runs out of water. The beasts get thirsty in the night.
Night air is enticing and seductive, cooling the body, the sheets but not the urge to pull someone close to you. So throw open the windows, shut down the AC—tonight you’ll be lulled to sleep by the song of night air.
Thanks to Google Images