Some of my happiest memories are of lying down to go to sleep after a day at the ocean. The sound-memory of ocean waves breaking against the shore continue to crash and retreat in my mind, even after I’m back home in my bed, far from the shore. As I drift into sleep it’s as if my body is still swaying to the rhythm of the swells and breakers I’d been playing in hours before.
One of the best descriptions of this phenomenon comes in the poem “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost. The narrator has spent all day in the orchard filling bushel baskets with apples, and the sights, sounds, and sensations from the day follow him over the bridge from waking into dreams.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
from “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost
What images will float through your mind tonight, as you cross over into dreams?
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