Sometimes solitude is the perfect key, waking alone to utter peacefulness, uninterrupted or distracted, nothing but the cloudy haze of the dawn to capture my attention. The quiet was deafening and such a rare presence in the confines of the narrow canyon which captures every sound, as if the clouds had buffered every vibration which might have otherwise reverberated in the breaking dawn. I lay still, savoring the moment, my thoughts slipping quietly into place in the twilight of waking, when sleep still reigns but consciousness is full. Lying still in the luxury of my own space my mind filled with the comfort and pleasure which can so easily evade me with the distraction of other people’s needs, even if those are second to my own they are too often placed first!
Solitude. I have always been a solitary creature even if there were years of my life which I feared the same would become a permanent condition. My mother lived alone for many years, never taking another partner after her failed marriage, as lovely as she was. She spoke of the desire, shared her distant loves with me and spoke of better things, but she remained alone. I grew to fear my fate would be the same but still wandered the mountain trails, on foot or horseback, and reveled in the beauty of nature and the wonders of the wilderness. Even if I wished to share those moments there was so rarely anyone with whom I would care to do so, they were too precious for that. When I hit the road at seventeen I did the same, there was no one else who I cared to travel with and the adventure was mine to take alone.
I have shared years of my life with others also. I partnered and had the best of times, but even then I pined for my solitude. Through the years of motherhood I would rise early to record my thoughts, or to take my morning run, often before the sun even touched the sky. Sometimes solitude is essential, the distractions of life can be deafening and the simple act of greeting ones’ own thoughts can be the most difficult practice. It is only in moments of utter peacefulness that we can see our lives for what they truly are and chance to reflect on all that is good in that. I found it here, this morning, alone and at peace with myself, and with my solitude.
A flock of birds lands in the weeds outside my window, their weight so scant as to barely bend the late summer branches as they gather the seed for their winter lard. Their song breaks the stillness and draws my eye away from my thoughts; a welcome distraction for it is momentary and affirms what I speak of. With no other diversions every detail of the morning comes to full light, the soft grey clouds of moisture, the deep green of the shadowed canyons and the first light as it touches the mountaintops. If there were no other demands on my day than to record the details of the coming fall season I should be content to accept that. I could spend the day alone and not feel the least bit lonesome, my coffers are all full. I have had plenty of company of late, and have no complaints, but sometimes solitude is all I really need.