Sleeping Giant State Park – Violet Trail to the tower.
Close your eyes. Imagine a blue sky, the bluest you’ve ever seen. It is filled with fluffy white clouds, so fluffy and white they look like you could fall back into them and lay there, and it would be the most comfortable spot you could sleep in. Nothing here is scary, nothing can hurt you. The clouds just float right by. If you have a thought come into your mind, just forget about it and focus on the clouds, slowly floating in the blue blue sky. If you think about something scary, just push that thought away. You are lying in that fluffy cloud and floating with all the other clouds in that blue blue sky.
When I rub his back as I recite this mantra to him in the dark, I am struck by how big his back is. Much longer now than when he was a toddler, and his little back was easier to stroke , to soothe him back to peaceful sleep. His nightmares take on much more detail now. This one was about zombies. No amount of my insisting that zombies are not real persuaded him to return to bed alone, so here I sit, having tried other tactics, and finally resorting to mental image I use when I meditate.
He falls asleep long before I am finished. And now I’m sleepy again, too.