Thursday, October 24, 2013
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I happen to love solitude. In this life that I have here in Michigan, I spend a lot of time alone. I interact with neighbors and carry on conversations with people I meet by chance during the day when I'm out and about but for the most part I'm alone from the time Dear Hubby leaves for work early in the morning until he comes home towards late afternoon. I don't know why people are afraid of being alone. Do they think of 'aloneness' as loneliness? I am never lonely, never homesick. I enjoy my own company and have always found crowds hard to take. It's like being on sensory overload when I'm in a big group of people. I come away mentally exhausted and I need time alone to refresh myself and gather my wits about me again. I think those who don't know me too well but are "Friends" on Facebook probably think I'm very social because I post a lot and I have a lot to say there. But I'm not. That's the "surface" me, the one I let the world see in face-to-face encounters. But the real me...no sir. That part of me isn't revealed to much of anyone, not really. That part is for me alone. Sometimes I almost feel like I live a double life. But both parts are real. The one who can carry on a conversation with anyone can shine forth when need be. But I am much more comfortable with the one who can sit in the quiet and watch the birds at the feeder, the wind in the huge maples across the street. The one who likes to be alone and is never lonely.
I think we Americans in our rush-rush-always-have-to-be-connected society have lost the ability of knowing how to be alone, of knowing how nourishing that time is to our souls and our emotional and mental well-being. Why does every minute, every hour, of not only our lives but our children's lives have to be scheduled and structured and planned and organized? Don't any of us remember what it was like to be carefree children with nothing but hours ahead of us on a summer day to just...be? To play or not to play? To lie in the grass and gaze at the clouds and just empty our minds and dream? To ride a bike down a country road with the wind in our hair and no destination in mind? I find a lot of freedom in solitude. It's a great place to daydream. It's a place we all ought to visit on a regular basis.