The Call Of Solitude – alone but not lonely
Solitude is a state of being alone, but not lonely and can lead to greater self-awareness
After a recent few days away I have become more aware of the significance of experiencing quietness and peace, some time apart from the treadmill that can often become part of our every day lives. Though we accept and know that for the majority of us this is how life just is, often busy and full, and it can be fulfilling and enjoyable, when you step off, just for a while, a sense of truly being reveals itself. It’s so easy and somehow addictive to keep going, always working, never stopping, perhaps afraid to stop.
Wandering through nature and embracing all that it has to offer is indeed a healing time and I became conscious that this is the true meaning of being alive; really noticing the sky and cloud formations, the infinite abundance of flowers and plants, the rough ground beneath my feet, the croak of a frog, the heady scent of orange blossom, sometimes intermingled with the not so quite appealing scent of the wild goats, brings connectiveness and a feeling of being at one with the earth once again.
I read recently of a lady who spent some time on one of the remote Orkney islands to write about overcoming alcoholism and what struck a chord with me was how she explained that at first she would venture out on these long purposeful walks but as she settled in to solitary island life these walks became immersive. Small details, previously gone unnoticed would emerge and she would take time over a small area of ground, becoming conscious and aware of ‘unseen’ treasures.
It is during these times spent alone and in thought that we can truly begin to reconnect with ourselves and in fact others. How can we genuinely have time to connect with our hearts and so make thoughtful decisions if we are constantly bombarded by phones and TV and even people. We live in an era where alienation is feared, yet independence is worshipped and now more than ever we need solitude. We are overconnected in a fast pace society that leaves little room for contemplation. We are constantly ‘in touch’, and yet in some ways we are more out of touch than ever. The need for genuine solitude is a much needed tonic and reviver of the spirits.
How special are those moments of rising early, experiencing the morning dew, bird song and the scent of earth in the air. Quiet and healing times to energise and restore, to notice life in minute detail, to experience appreciation and reconnect with the real meaning of what it means to be alive.
It is during these times in quiet solitude we can contemplate without bombardment from external influences. We can be wholly in the moment allowing us to sensitively experience our thoughts and feelings. Time alone allows for profound self-awareness to emerge and for the human spirit to flourish. It is a time for reflection, inner searching and growth.
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” – Albert Einstein