Early this morning I had what is for me a very rare experience: I awoke with absolutely no idea where or when I was. At first I thought, "Am I nine? Is this my parents' house?" And then I thought, "Am I in our summer cabin on the mountain? Is that why everything is so dark and simultaneously familiar and a little bit out of the ordinary?" But the ceiling was more than two feet from my face and I couldn't see any exposed two-by-fours (I got to sleep in the loft, which I loved, because it was solitary and strange and I had to climb a ladder to get to it) so I knew that wasn't the case. Next I had to figure out that I wasn't in a college dorm or a hostel in Europe. (The one period of my life I never thought to imagine I was revisiting was anything having to do with my mission or Asia.) I then asked myself, "Do I still live in Iowa?" And I actually worded it like that, with the still, which meant I was figuring out that if my consciousness had me still living in Iowa, it wasn't doing its job properly. Then I thought, "Am I on a boat? Because I was on a boat, pretty recently." And then it all came back, that I'd been traveling but was home now, waking up for the first time in a good while in my little house in the rust belt.
The thing is, I felt no distress or discomfort while I was figuring all this out. I was too asleep to discern immediately where I was, but I was awake enough to feel my mind working, and I was distanced enough from both sleep and wakefulness to stand back and simply watch my mind figure out this situation, and that was kind of fun. I felt fortunate as I cycled through various periods of my life and realized that there had been all these places in the world where I'd slept safely and awakened in the morning to go do interesting things. And I was especially comforted to discover that I was in my own bed in my own house and that I wouldn't have to get up in a few hours and get off a boat or on a plane, and that made it really easy to go back to sleep.