Thursday, June 20, 2013

365 Inspirations—171: Being Alone

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."—Henry David Thoreau

Well, I'm on day 2 of my solo retreat and it's quiet out here. I like it, but I'm not use to it. I had big plans for this retreat: wake up at 5, meditate, do yoga, write, more meditation, more yoga, more writing.

I slept in until 9:00AM today.

I had all these strange dreams about my co-workers. We were all sharing a house together. The dream was interesting, so I didn't want to wake up. Plus, it was so warm and cozy in bed.

So I decided, what the hay, I'm going to get up when it feels right and the same goes for the rest.

After I had breakfast and got out of the shower, I heard the sound of heavy machinery in the front of the house. There was a man with a blower blowing the driveway clean. So much for the sounds of nature.

I soon learned, after brief introductions, that Miguel was there to do yard work.

He's the only one I've had a live conversation with since I've been here. His English was a little shaky, so the conversation was rather short.

I bid him farewell and headed off around the lake. I didn't run into a single person on the lake, except Miguel and his wife, who passed me in their truck with a few friendly honks good-bye.

All alone.

My breath, the wind blowing, branches creaking and squeaking like an old door slowly opening that is in need of WD-40.

I felt an eeriness and a peaceful calm all at once. The full, dark clouds looked like they could barely contain the rain. I could smell it in the air. I walked a little faster.

My shadow in the pavement seemed to almost blend in with it. It was hard to make out if I was even there.

I saw a Henry David Thoreau looking cabin. It reminded me of when I went to Walden Pond with my mother. I dreamed of going to the woods to write just like Thoreau. Now I'm doing it.

But I'm not sure I'm a 'live off the land' kind of gal. I thought I'd stay out here for two weeks, but I don't think I'll be out here that long. Do I really need to be out in the woods to write a book? I wrote my first one mostly at my house in Seattle, while teaching and keeping up with a daily blog.

I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I like and miss the city! I love Seattle. I love that nature is interwoven into city life. We have so much nature right in the city. If I drive 10 minutes from my house, I'm at a park that seems hundreds of miles from civilization, yet my favorite restaurants, movie theaters and coffee shops are minutes away.

I love the diversity of Seattle. My husband is Korean and we have Korean restaurants, supermarkets and spas within minutes from our house. Within in 5 minutes from our house there's Ethiopian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Indonesian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese food. We've got vegetarian restaurants, juice bars, vegan bakeries, French food, you name it!

For entertainment, there are bookstores, movie theaters, (a $3 Landmark movie theater is 10 minutes from our house), parks, city hikes, art museums, sculpture parks, beaches, and lots of public libraries. A 15-20 minute drive gets us downtown to Pike Place Market, Chinatown, the Seattle Center, Space Needle, The Seattle Opera House, Benaroya Hall (where we recently received free tickets to see the symphony). We are in the middle of it all, yet our house is tucked in and surrounded by trees and nature.

Okay, okay...back to this moment,

this silence,

this slllloooowwww pace.....

 I do like coming out to the woods all alone. If anything, it reminds me of all the great things I have in my life that are easy to take for granted.

By the way, I did get some writing in today as well as a bit of yoga and meditation, so it's not all for nothing. I'm getting things done and I'll stay out here for a bit longer. I'm thinking I'll be lucky if I make it a week....

Oh, and I forgot to mention,  there's this nice guy in Seattle who teaches at a yoga school down the street from our house. Another reason to love the city.

On that note, I highly recommend taking a break from the people we love and our lives. I think we ALL (moms, dads, married people, single people, dog lovers, cat lovers, basket weavers, writers, social media people, bloggers, etc.) could use some time ALONE. Not just an hour or a day, but I think at least a weekend. Don't say it can't be done, anything is possible.

I know some of you may say, "I'd feel guilty leaving my kids, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, gerbil, bird, _________." Trust me, they'll be just fine and all parties will appreciate you more because you took the time needed to be alone. Some of the healthiest family people I know make it a regular habit of doing this at least a few times a year.

Okay, so that's my spiel in favor of "being alone". Now I'm going to unplug.

Tune in tomorrow to find out if I'm still here..........(he, he!)

Have you ever taken a trip all by yourself or spent a lengthy time alone out in nature? How did you feel?

1 comment:

  1. Your shadow picture is amazing. I keep coming back to it over and over. It is speaking to me for some reason.