(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
I’m in good company, I know, but I have this tendency to put my head on my pillow, completely exhausted by the events of the day, and then find myself wide awake, unable to sleep. The words I couldn’t come up with earlier suddenly pop into my head without warning, or one of my children crosses my mind or I am so excited about a trip or a project my brain is buzzing with ideas. I’ve learned over the years to not fight it. Instead I get up, make a cup of Chamomile tea and sit down in the dark living room, relishing the quiet.
More often than not, if I am wandering through dark rooms when I should be in bed, I am guided by a small lighted globe that sits on my desk. A thrift store find, it is used as a night light as much as a travel reference.
Tonight, as I walked by, I looked down at the globe and noticed the story that could be told with the other items around it.
The globe is surrounded by a souvenir model of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris, a clay dish made by one of my children which holds a handful of Euro coins, and a purse-sized pocket atlas, a gift from my daughter last Christmas.
When I look at the globe at night, shining in a dark corner of the room, I remember the maps and globes of my geography class when I was a girl, the way they intrigued me and opened a world of possibility, inviting me to explore and dream and go.
Sleepy at last, the tea finished and the cup rinsed, I headed back to bed. On an impulse, I grabbed the camera that is always sitting on the desk and took a photo. I think I'll put it on my computer to light my hotel room when I travel.
It’s funny. I’ve brought home so many things over the years. But this little globe means the world to me.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org