4 : Bedtime Comforter


I once saw a cloud
Kiss a mountain goodnight
Then the raindrops came down
To sing a soft melody

The trees and the flowers
Listened quietly
While the grass lay so cozy
On its bed of earth

I once saw the moon
Hug a wave on the ocean
Then the water moved slowly
Rocking back and forth

The turtles and the whales
Cuddled quietly
While the seaweed swayed softly
On its bed of sand

I once saw my daughter
Fall asleep for the night
With a white cloud of dreams
Surrounding her tenderly

Goodnight sweet daughter
Sweet dreams all night through
Thank you for the beauty
With which you surround me


Why I wrote Bedtime Comforter:


Another lullaby I would sing to you when you were very young, Bedtime Comforter, was created for your second birthday. Once again, nature’s inspiration and my imagination took the lead when composing it. Unable to come up with an ending I was satisfied with, I tinkered with it by adding a few stanzas at some point, but when I looked at it again decades later, I stuck to what I’d originally written and fine-tuned the last few lines.

Whenever I read Bedtime Comforter, I’m reminded of the small white comforter we made together when you were three or four years old. Having outgrown your crib, I sewed a white bed sheet into a duvet cover for your new “big girl” bed.

Most of the time you would play with your toys while I hand painted the hearts, stars and squiggles onto the white bed sheet, but every now and then, you applied a few touches of your own. The soft pastel colors of pink, blue, yellow and green that we painted on the white comforter came vividly to mind while revising the lullaby and it was one of several inspirations that led to the color palette I applied to Becoming a Poem.


How I wrote Bedtime Comforter :


I once saw a cloud
Kiss a mountain goodnight
Then the raindrops came down
To sing a soft melody

Written a couple of years after Landscape of Love, I continued to be amazed and inspired by the magnanimous presence of nature all around us. While out for a walk with you in your stroller one day, I looked towards the mountains to see clouds moving in. This is when I described one of the many awesome sights I had witnessed when first moving here as clouds kissing mountains.

I realize how ridiculous this may seem to some, but having grown up where mountains were hills – I had never seen clouds touch anything other than the sky they floated on. When I first saw clouds reach the earth and physically touch and surround mountains and trees, I was completely awestruck.

On that cloudy day, when we strolled along and a mass of billowy clouds formed and gently touched the mountains, the romanticized line that kicked-off the lullaby immediately came to mind. Not only is it a lovely image, but it also put a positive spin on one of the topics I wanted to address in the song – the countless rainy days of our beautiful west coast.


The trees and the flowers
Listened quietly
While the grass lay so cozy
On its bed of earth

Keeping in mind the fantasized image I was portraying, I imagined what joy the trees would be feeling after being kissed by a cloud. I had initially imagined flowers and trees dancing, but since I was focusing on a lullaby, I intentionally toned it down and instead I imagined delicate rain trickling through evergreen nettles and how soothing and comforting it might feel after a day in the sun for the grass and trees to be showered and cooled down.


More on how I wrote Bedtime Comforter :


I once saw the moon
Hug a wave on the ocean
Then the water moved slowly
Rocking back and forth

This next scene is how the lullaby really started. We were walking along the ocean one evening and a gigantic full moon cradled the island’s mountainous horizon. The perfect and clear reflection of the moon mirrored on the still ocean until it was caught by gentle rolling waves and caused it’s reflection to change shape as it swayed, giving the impression of arms stretching out. The image that immediately snapped to mind was one of the moon hugging the waves, and it led me to think of a new lullaby for you.


I once saw my daughter
Fall asleep for the night
With a white cloud of dreams
Surrounding her tenderly

Goodnight sweet daughter
Sweet dreams all night through
Thank you for the beauty
With which you surround me

It may seem simple to wrap up a lullaby since the goal is obviously to coax one to sleep, but it wasn’t until decades later that I finally completed this one with an ending I was satisfied with.

I did so by recollecting how you loved to wrap yourself up in the little white comforter we created together, and how peacefully you slept through the nights, while surrounded by what looked like a soft cozy cloud.


Drawing from the poem:


Just as many of the drawings and images selected for Becoming a Poem, I created this one decades later.

The constant image that comes to mind whenever I read this poem is one of you sleeping soundly while comfortably wrapped-up in the cozy white comforter we made together. This not only led me to choose the title for this poem, but inspired the drawing too.

When I settled into the drawing mode to create an image for Bedtime Comforter, my mind swayed back in time and I imagined how these scenes might have unfolded in dreams you might have had as a child.

Although I initially hesitated to include this drawing due to its difference in style from most of the drawings and photos selected for Becoming a Poem, in the end, it was impossible to pass up. It perfectly encapsulates all things that inspired me at the time, and the wonderful influence that your childhood brought on.


Thank you for inspiring me to create Bedtime Comforter


Bedtime Comforter

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