I am alone
And its ok.
For 30 years I had four breathing beings tugging at me,
(*five if you count my husband
**six if you count my mother who lived with us for ten years)
at my sleeve, at my knee, at times at my throat).
((at my throat because three of the beings were boys, and at times they just literally choke their mother, unless she chokes them first.))
Now, with children away uncovering their own genesis
and a husband who travels a lot,
many times it’s just me and my two cats,
and it’s ok.
I rise in the morning, scratch a kitty’s head (the only breathing thing in the household that still snuggles at night)
make my pot of coffee, and on a good, sunny day, sit with my mug on the porch overlooking Puget Sound.
It took a while to get over the just sitting part. To be guiltless at sitting and staring at the churning current of the water. Or on alternate days watch the water’s stillness reflect the day’s shifting light like a mirror.
It’s okay to be able to hear and distinguish the call of different birds…chickadee, seagull, osprey, …… that greet the morning, calling out their songs in the prelude to dawn moments before the sun breaks over the mountains to the east.
It’s okay to watch colors shift when pink and lavender then gold make their appearance over the mountain’s silhouette
or watch a sea lion toss his morning catch of salmon as chattering seagulls try to swipe the breakfast he proudly waves into the air.
The path of the sun as it moves over the sound is the day’s tracker, not a daytimer or clock.
For so many years I was thrown into the habit of schedules and routine and carpool and spur of the moment meal planning.
So when the last child left for college, time filled too much space, Aloneness seemed too empty.
Now, as winter approaches, and daylight hours shorten,
Time’s space seems richer in solitude.
I would not call it loneliness.
I would call it solo+etude
I know what solo means. One.
But I look up the word, etude, it means:
a short musical composition for a solo instrument, Word Origin for étude: from French: study
I like this new definition I have just created:
At this time it feels right to compose a solo étude.
Alone, without the priority of meeting others needs I can care for myself, to better care for them in new ways, in new roles, strengthened through the creative space of solitude.
There is time to learn new ways of composition,
on canvas with a paintbrush,
on paper, with a pen
with notes on the piano.
I can play Bach concertos and Chopin preludes as loudly or as quietly as I like, on repeat.
I can exercise meditation and stillness, not having to jump to the next thing.
I can study.
Or the origin of my family tree.
Or the movement of the dolphins in the channel. Or the how long a seal holds its breath each time it surfaces.
Or the shades of light that vary cast upon the mountain as the sun journeys across the sky.
This word, study, is an appropriate action for the word, solitude.
Since I was a young girl my favorite observation is of the mountain I see across the bay, Mt. Rainier.
Against the sky Mt. Rainier stands majestic from sunrise to sunset.
For hours, from my Adirondack chair on the porch I watch its many facets shift with the movement of the sun.
I imagine that this is what it will be like someday in heaven when we gaze upon the Lord, never tiring of being witness to His glory.
For solitude is peace when we are content to be alone.
Alone in His presence, in the study of Him.
Mt. Rainer stands 14,411 feet above the Puget Sound waters before me.
It is the highest point in the state,
one that stands above the chain of Cascade peaks surrounding it.
Its power stands in its solitary existence above the others,
one that stands out just before dawn
when the Morningstar hovers just above its crest,
not revealing yet its full glory, still robed in purple from the lightening darkness.
The surrounding dawn would not be so warm if darkness did not proceed it.
Just as grief, that deep empty space you feel can never be filled again,
Grief over love…loss… time…
eventually recedes as light breaks over the shadows
after moments alone,
In solo study.