Solitude is an ocean with wonderful places hidden in its depths.
~Isaac of Nineveh
This week’s The Daily Post asks us to show what alone or solitude means to us. Most of my daily walks are taken alone (or in solitude) so I am quite familiar with being alone (or in solitude).
Even when I’m alone on my walks, I am never truly alone. Companions are everywhere, both without and within. The trees, the birds, the marsh grasses, the sun, the moon, the spirit of the land, and that feeling of Oneness that often accompanies being out in the beauty of nature, are all available. It has taken me a while to learn that lesson so that I can savor and enjoy my aloneness rather than think of it as loneliness.
When we run away from our aloneness we feel “lonely”. We lose touch with the vastness of life, and we identify as “the one who is alone”, a vast limitation of who we are. We become “the separate one”, and we feel disconnected, isolated, shut-off, and then seek connection in all kinds of ways, through food, money, alcohol, sex, even spirituality…
Right at the heart of your loneliness is a great secret – that you are one with life itself, alone and all-one with everything, in the presence of a very dear and familiar friend…
There is a lantern in the soul, which makes your solitude luminous. Solitude need not remain lonely. It can awaken to its luminous warmth. The soul redeems and transfigures everything because the soul is divine space. When you inhabit your solitude fully and experience its outer extremes of isolation and abandonment, you will find that at its heart there is neither loneliness nor emptiness but intimacy and shelter. In your solitude you are frequently nearer to the heart of belonging and kinship than you are in your social life or public world.
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 116) Getting caught in an unexpected rain shower this morning. The weather oracles swore it would be dry today which is why it was unexpected. 117) The way reflections dance on the water. 118) The Little Doe’s morning visit. 119) My granddaughters’ voices on the telephone. 120) The joy I feel when my phone chimes in the early morning as Youngest Son sends me an almost-daily photo of Little Wookie (my grandson). My response is a little Pavlovian, but hey, it’s joy. And sweet baby cuteness.