You know that time in between your waking and sleeping moments? It’s that time where you’re lucid enough to know it’s already morning but sleepy enough to sleep in  for “five more minutes.” It’s that time when every now and then, you slip back into a dream different than you had a few moments ago. Sometimes, you actually come back to the story that you left behind.  And the very rare moments that you do, it seems as if the details of when and who and where seem to dissolve at every attempt to remember.

Scientists call that a hypnopompic state. I’d like to see it as my mind “returning” back to my body. Most of the times, you are rushed out of that state–especially when your fifth alarm for the morning jolts you out of your slumber. However, there are days where you get to sleep in. There are no deadlines. You know that you’re in good health and that there are no assignments or workload waiting for you. Today was that kind of day.

I woke up to a slightly cooler morning with the soft patter of rain gently nuzzling me back to sleep. The thick, humid summer air hid for a few hours while a calming coolness had taken its place. Amidst the onset of wakefulness and dreams, the rain poured on and I would enter and exit my dreams with a content smile.

Ever since I was 12, it would always rain on my birthday. I know because at 12 years old, I started counting. Today was no different. And even though most people hate the rain, it would always come on the fourth of July and I would welcome it with open arms like an old friend.

Now, I find that even without the rain, the dreaming never stops and constant ebb and flow of the surreal seems like a story that never ends–like a narrative that precedes a thousand and one chapters after it.

One day, I might wake up on one fourth of July, go about my entire day and go to sleep without seeing a single drop of rain. Yet it won’t change a thing. For in doing so, I would have still embraced the gift of life and my entering and exiting would have never ceased.

So dream, whenever you can and live your life with grace and gratitude.

And when you do decide to wake up, dream with your eyes wide open.