I HAVE BEEN A SOLITARY CREATURE for so long — even as a child. Coming from a large family, one learns to covet the solitary time in the beautiful, chaotic life of a family. We each had our own special way to escape. My older brothers, under the hood of some car; my younger brothers, in imaginary play in our forest of a yard. For me, it was writing, drawing or imaginative play — creating stories for my characters to play out (I used dominoes…wasn’t partial to dolls–weird, I know, but, I had my own little MASH unit before that TV show was ever dreamed up: double-even numbers were doctors, double-odd were nurses–everyone else ended up being patients).
I loved to climb up in a monster bay tree that crashed across my swing set one year in a storm. My dad, grandfather and older brothers helped cut it back to one massive main trunk, with the ‘nubs’ (each probably 3 foot circumference) of several large branches still intact, and just let it lay there. It was a most excellent place to sit quietly and let my imagination work, and a place to draw or write.
I even had a ‘stash’ of writing material and drawing supplies tucked in the trunk of another multi-trunked bay tree on our lot. All so I could escape the busyness of my family and have my quiet time — alone.
Throughout my teen and college years, even with close friends to enjoy life with, I’d still find ways of escaping to that solitude. Once out in the business world, I established friends both in the workplace and in my private life, though, my circle of friends was smaller. That didn’t bother me. Some people need to be surrounded by other people, but that has never been the case with me. Goofing around with friends when they were available was fine, but, when ‘confronted’ with alone-time, I relish it — I always had my drawing, reading, and/or my new camera to keep me company.
Once married, my husband and I loved to get away from the ‘big city’ and explore small towns, back roads and camp in the mountains, so this became my new way to enjoy solitude, with my husband–in addition to reading (always had a book), photography and journaling.
Once my daughter was born, I found a new solitude: watching her, whether she was asleep or at play. A time to re-energize, too.
Then, another form of solitude entered my life. One that remained a constant; it didn’t matter who I was with or what I had to do, it followed me wherever I went.
I was brought up in a Christian home, went to church and believed in God, but once on my own, ‘slipped’ away from the church, with the excuse of not finding the ‘right’ one and that my life (then, our lives) were too full to fit it into the busy weekend schedule.
It wasn’t until I experienced the beautiful miracle of the birth of my daughter and knew she needed to be brought up in the church (no way I could adequately train her or explain my religious convictions to her), that I finally found a great place to build her foundation and ‘grow’ my faith. Together, we took our baby steps towards Him.
It was in Him that I found the greatest solitude.
I still need and enjoy my quiet time — time away from the hustle and bustle of Life — and always will, I’m sure. But I’m never alone now. Whether I am heading into a store & see decorator clouds hanging so beautifully in the sky or as I am walking at one of the State Parks in our area, I can extoll to my Creator of the beauty that surrounds me, thanking Him for the new vision He gives me. Such peace and joy! He fills me with abundant — (hmmm…abundant what, I ask myself) Abundant everything! There is not one thing in my life, that is needed, that is lacking.
Some say that is a weakness to ‘need’ God. I know that is not true. I’ve tried to do things on my own. Sure. I get through life just fine, but with Him? My life is so much richer, and acknowledge that without Him, I cannot do near as much, nor do it as well!
His handiwork is everywhere I look–there is no escaping it, thankfully. His fingerprints are on every aspect of my life, proving his presence in my life. So, my solitude draws me closer to Him; brings us ever closer together.
Thank God for the need for solitude!
I would like to wish each of you the blessed, safe and thought-filled Easter. May your heart be filled with joy at the thought that He has risen!