The Longest Sleep

A little girl–my sweet neighbor–stands in my front yard and asks me a question:

“Do you know which animal sleeps the longest?” she asks.

“A sloth?” I suddenly find myself caught up in the mystery of it. Her eyes sparkle as she’s about to reveal the answer. She’s so happy with the discovery of this thing she’s about to tell me.

“A snail! They can sleep for 3 years.” We stand there, marveling.

I can’t stop thinking about the snail that sleeps for 3 years. She must, when the conditions aren’t favorable for her survival, go to sleep. She sleeps for as long as it takes.

I feel like I’ve been in hibernation or some kind of sleep in this COVID world. It feels like we’re all sleeping snails. When conditions change, we’ll emerge again. It happens in nature all the time. Bees and bears hibernate, and so do chipmunks apparently. I’m learning to embrace it, I suppose. We must. Even if it takes three years.

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