“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” –Desiderata
What comes to mind when you think of solitude?
I always think of this photograph, which sits encased in a magenta-colored frame on my dresser amongst tiny colorful boxes and a turquoise owl candle holder.
It’s something about the way my neighbor’s run-down shed can nearly look quaint and picturesque with just a spritz of ethereal evening sunlight, how it seems to sit quietly and listen to the animated conversations of the birds that hover nearby. How once-yellow, dying dandelions become spheres of glowing energy as they reach desperately toward the sky in a last-ditch attempt for acknowledgement, like twinkling stars slowly fizzling out of existence. The way that the overgrowth shrouds this abandoned structure in a cloak of shadows, encapsulating it in a perpetual state of serene semi-darkness, allowing it to slowly, safely, discreetly, gracefully begin the inevitable transition from structure to rubble, as this is the fate of all things; as the universe favors chaos over order.
On slow summer days like today, as I sit cross-legged on my bed idly watching the afternoon light filter in through the spaces between my drapes, I am content. I am happy today to be like my neighbor’s desolate shed and sit as a silent observer, watching the clouds play tag with the sun. This isn’t to say I that I choose observation over participation in life, I am merely saying that on days where I find myself alone, I do not panic–I celebrate. I can appreciate the warmth of a not-too-hot day, the whirring of a passing plane, the calm loveliness of summertime. Every now and then we could all stand to take a lesson from nature and learn to appreciate our own existence instead of living with the incessant fear that we are somehow missing out on life. We can be like the grass and the trees and the creatures of the Earth, all of whom are happy simply “being,” and realize that being alive is a treat in and of itself. It is okay to be alone, and it is okay to take time to breathe and to reconnect with the natural world.
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”