Nothing much happens; bedtime stories to help you sleep

Having trouble sleeping?  Join Yoga and meditation teacher Kathryn Nicolai for bedtime stories where nothing much happens to help you relax and sleep peacefully. The stories are a soft landing spot for your mind. Rather than letting your brain race through the same thoughts you’ve been chasing all day, we are taking a detour to a calm and comfy place. We tell the story twice and go a bit slower the second time.

Buy the book now! http://hyperurl.co/NothingMuchHappens

Behind the Curtain (Halloween Special Part 2)

October 30, 2022

Listen

Description

Our story tonight is called Behind the Curtain and it’s the second part of our Halloween special this season. It’s a story about two friends meeting for the first time. It’s also about a copper kettle simmering on the stove, a gentle approach to tip people toward kindness and cinnamon sticks and sliced apples.

https://linktr.ee/nothingmuchhappens

Transcript

Welcome to bedtime stories for everyone in which nothing much happens.

You feel good, and then you fall asleep.

I'm Catherine Nicolai.

I write and read all the stories you hear on Nothing Much Happens with audio engineering by Bob Wittersheim.

Every year around Halloween, when the moon is full, our sound engineer Bob Wittersheim disappears into his editing booth.

We ignore the howling, the green mist seeping out from under the door, and wait for the ping of the inbox.

Those special spooked-up versions of our stories can be found on our website under the podcast tab.

So visit us at nothingmuchhappens.com if you dare.

Now, let me explain a bit how to use this podcast.

When left to its own devices, your mind will wander, rehashing and what-iffing into the wee hours.

We need to give it a soft place to land.

That's what the story is.

And once the mind settles, your nervous system can switch over into rest and digest mode, and you'll sleep.

All you need to do is follow along with the sound of my voice, the simple shape of the story.

I'll read the story twice, and I'll go a little slower the second time through.

If you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, you can listen again, don't hesitate to turn it right back on, or just think your way back through any part of the story that you can remember.

Really any details that felt particularly cozy to you, it'll reroute your mind back to the landing spot.

And before you know it, you'll be waking up tomorrow, feeling refreshed and rested.

It's time to turn off the light, set aside anything you've been working on or looking at.

Go down into your sheets and get as comfortable as you can.

You are about to fall asleep, and you'll sleep deeply all night.

Whatever you have done today, it is enough.

You've done enough, and you are enough.

And nothing remains but deep restorative sleep.

Take a slow breath in through your nose, and sigh it out of your mouth.

Again breathe in, and out.

Good.

Our story tonight is called Behind the Curtain, and it's the second part of our Halloween special this season.

It's a story about two friends meeting for the first time.

It's also about a copper kettle simmering on the stove, a gentle approach to tip people toward kindness, and cinnamon sticks, and sliced apples.

Behind the curtain, I stood with my elbows on the counter and my chin in my hands, looking out through the shop window as the daylight faded and the stars began to appear.

On the bricks of the building opposite, a vast maple vine had climbed from the street nearly to the second floor, and its leaves were a bright ruby red that glowed under the street lamp.

I think I should put the kettle on, I said aloud, and heard a soft, a green meow from the back room behind the curtain.

We were alone in the shop after a busy day.

It was that time of year, but I hadn't closed up yet, and I had a feeling I knew why.

Someone was coming.

It was about to be someone's first visit to my shop.

I turned and parted the black curtain that hung behind the counter and stepped into my workshop.

I had an old scrubbed pine table where I mixed herb preparations and tea.

In fact, I had the regular weekly order for the tea shop wrapped up and ready to be delivered tomorrow.

Beside the table, there was a stove with a large copper kettle sat on top, already full of water and just waiting to be warmed.

I rubbed my hands together in front of me, building a bit of heat between my palms.

Then turned on the gas and snapped my fingers close to the burner.

A small spark jumped from my fingertips and lit the flame.

I smiled to myself and adjusted the burner.

I'd come a long way since that day, a few October's past, when I met my mail carrier on the front step of my house and been handed a package wrapped in paper.

I remember still the feeling of awe and recognition as I peeled back the wrapping and held my grandmother's book and my hands.

How she had gotten it to me, so many years after she was gone herself.

I still didn't know, but her timing had been right.

I was ready for it when it came.

When I thought of her, it was always with her book and her hands, or propped up on a stand on the counter, or set on her bedside table, ready for her to record her dreams in when she woke.

It was a family grimoire handed down through the generations.

It held entries from as far back as my five times great grandmother, most of which was indecipherable to me, though I was still very glad it was there.

That same day, when I started to learn about who I was and how to work as others had, it wasn't just the book that had come to me.

A small gray cat had arrived at my back door and scratched to be let in.

She both couldn't be, but definitely was, the same cat who had slept at the foot of grandmother's bed and sunned herself among the azaleas in her garden.

Grandmother had called her cat, Cinder, and so she was still called.

She watched over me as I charted the movements of the moon and worked my first spells.

Everyone has their own gifts, and mine were mostly of intuition.

A sudden flash of knowing would hit me, like it had just now, sending me to put the kettle on to boil.

Over the years, like training a muscle, my intuition had gotten stronger, and I found I could be in the right place at the right time to help someone or tip the balance toward good, to nudge someone to check on a neighbor or set the wheels in motion for a dream to grow.

I was sure most of these things would have eventually happened on their own.

I thought of myself not as pulling strings, but just as one clearing a path so that the obstacles blocking most people's best instincts were lessened.

A stone with a hole in it might be left at the edge of the river for the next person mudlarking there.

The six of cups tucked into a book and left on a shelf in a little library at just the right moment to fall into just the right hands.

When Cinder brought home a little orphaned orange kitten and set her in my lap, I knew just the home for her and watched over until she was safe inside.

Most people in our little village had no idea I was here, working quietly in the background.

To make our days just a bit softer and sweeter.

And that was just how I liked it.

I stood beside the stove as the kettle got closer to singing and added a touch more water to the simmer pot beside it.

I started one each day when I opened the shop and lately had drawn ingredients from the orchard, fresh cut apples and cinnamon sticks and cloves.

But today I was simmering sink foil, lavender and rose hips.

There was a prickle at the back of my neck and I turned and peeked through the curtain into the shop.

Out on the sidewalk a woman stood seemingly in a trance.

A full moon was reflected in her glasses and I recognized her face.

She'd come close to finding us before but had never made it all the way to the door.

Look this way, I said aloud, and in that moment someone in a hurry to cross the street bumped into her and spun her toward our sign.

Thank you, I said.

I watched her taking in the sign, the door and the front window, freshly stocked with candles, herbs and a hand me down but valuable scrying bowl.

If my gift was intuiting and maybe a bit of prescience, I could feel that hers was for healing.

In a flash of understanding I knew hers was the house in the neighborhood whose door was knocked on when a baby squirrel fell from its nest.

She would take the box, carry it inside, a nurse, till the creature was ready to venture back into the branches, scraped knees or broken hearts, elders who'd lost themselves or friends worn out by the long gray days of winter.

She was the one who reached out.

She would have the gift of the cool touch of mother's hands on a hot forehead, the soft voice that would ease another to relax.

She did all sorts of healing and I was already eager to meet her, to pour her a cup of tea and tell her my own story to help her realize hers.

I reached up to a top shelf to bring down a few tea cups and sorted through the blends to find one that would open her eyes and ears even more as we talked.

Cinder wove through my ankles, excited as well at the proximity of such warm lovely magic.

I heard the door open and close and I slipped out from behind the curtain to welcome our guest.

Behind the curtain I stood with my elbows on the counter and my chin in my hands looking out through the shop window as the daylight faded and the stars began to appear.

On the bricks of the building opposite, a vast maple vine had climbed from the street nearly to the second floor and its leaves were a bright ruby red that glowed under the street lamp.

I think I should put the kettle on, I said aloud and heard a soft, agreeing meow from the back room behind the curtain.

We were alone in the shop after a busy day.

It was that time of year but I hadn't closed up yet and I had a feeling I knew why.

One was coming, it was about to be someone's first visit to my shop.

I turned and parted the black curtain that hung behind the counter and stepped into my workshop.

I had an old scrubbed pine table where I mixed herb preparations and tea.

In fact, I had the regular weekly order for the tea shop wrapped up and ready to be delivered tomorrow.

Inside the table there was a stove with a large copper kettle sat on top, already full of water and just waiting to be warmed.

I rubbed my hands together in front of me, building a bit of heat between my palms and then turned on the gas and snapped my fingers close to the burner.

A small spark jumped from my fingertips and lit the flame.

I smiled to myself and adjusted the burner.

I'd come a long way since that day, a few October's past, when I met my mail carrier on the front step of my house and then handed a package wrapped in paper.

I remember still the feeling of awe and recognition as I peeled back the wrapping and held my grandmother's book in my hands.

How she had gotten it to me so many years after she was gone herself, I still don't know.

But her timing had been right.

I was ready for it when it came.

When I thought of her, it was always with her book in her hands or propped up on a stand on the counter or set on her bedside table, ready for her to record her dreams in when she woke.

It was a family grimoire handed down through the generations.

It held entries from as far back as my five times great grandmother, most of which was indecipherable to me, though I was still very glad it was there.

That same day, when I started to learn about who I was and how to work as others had, it wasn't just the book that came to me.

A small gray cat had arrived at my back door and scratched to be let in.

She both couldn't be, but definitely was, the same cat who had slept at the foot of grandmother's bed and sunned herself among the azaleas in her garden.

Grandmother had called her cat Cinder, and so she was still called.

She watched over me as I charted the movements of the moon and worked my first spells.

Everyone has their own gifts, and mine were mostly of intuition.

A sudden flash of knowing would hit me, like it had just now sending me to put the kettle on to boil.

Over the years, like training a muscle, my intuition had gotten stronger, and I found I could be in the right place at the right time to help someone, or tip the balance toward good, to nudge someone, to check on a neighbor, or set the wheels in motion for a dream to grow.

I was sure most of these things would have eventually happened on their own.

I thought of myself, not as pulling strings, but just as one clearing a path, so that the obstacles blocking most people's best instincts were lessened.

A stone with a hole in it might be left at the edge of the river for the next person mudlarking there.

The six of cups tucked into a book and left on the shelf of a little library at just the right moment to fall into just the right hands.

When Cinder brought home a little orphaned orange kitten and set her in my lap, I knew just the home for her, and watched over until she was safe inside.

Most people in our little village had no idea I was here, working quietly in the background to make our days just a bit softer and sweeter, and that was just how I liked it.

I stood beside the stove as the kettle got closer to singing, and added a touch more water to the simmer pot beside it.

I started one each day when I opened the shop, and lately had drawn ingredients from the orchard, fresh-cut apples and cinnamon sticks and cloves.

But today I was simmering sink foil, lavender, and rose hips.

There was a prickle at the back of my neck, and I turned and peeked through the curtain into our shop.

Left on the sidewalk, a woman stood seemingly in a trance.

The full moon was reflected in her glasses, and I recognized her face.

She'd come close to finding us before, but had never quite made it to the door.

Look this way, I said aloud, and in that moment, someone in a hurry to cross the street, bumped into her and spun her toward our sign.

Well thank you, I said.

I watched her taking in the sign, the door and the front window, freshly stocked with candles, herbs, and a hand-me-down, but valuable scrying bowl.

If my gift was intuiting and a bit of prescience, I could feel that hers was for healing.

In a flash of understanding, I knew hers was the house in the neighborhood, whose door was knocked on when a baby squirrel fell from its nest.

She would take the box and carry it inside, a nurse till the creature was ready to venture back into the branches.

Scraped knees or broken hearts, elders who'd lost themselves, or friends worn out by the long gray days of winter.

She was the one who reached out.

She would have the gift of the cool touch of mother's hands on a hot forehead, the soft voice that would ease another to relax.

She did all sorts of healing when I was already eager to meet her, to pour her a cup of tea and tell her my own story, to help her realize hers.

I reached up to a top shelf to bring down a few tea cups and sorted through the blends to find one that would open her eyes and ears even more as we talked.

We're a wove through my ankles, excited as well at the proximity of such warm, lovely magic.

We heard the door open and close, and I slipped out from behind the curtain to welcome our guest.

Sweet dreams.