Blue Ridge Mountains, Western N. Carolina/Photo by Gaye Abbott
“Solitude is one of the most precious things in the human spirit. It is different from loneliness. When you are lonely, you become acutely conscious of your own separation. Solitude can be a homecoming to your own deepest belonging. “
John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara
Sitting out on the front porch where I am house sitting I gaze at the sky, the mountains and the valley below. This is a familiar view for me as I lived here for the first three months after moving to N. Carolina and since then often visit with my friends and do the occasional house sit.
Yet this morning it is like I have never seen this view before. In actuality I have not seen or experienced it just like this. The light, clouds, shadows, colors and ever changing seasonal landscape. I am different too.
Solitude for me is home. A constant awaking to where I am in touch with all life. An interconnected part of it.
Not only the beauty but the suffering, injustices and pain in this world as well. Felt fully without turning away. My own suffering and pain, finding a space for that too. So often I want to turn away from the heart break, anger and sadness – yet if I do I am not fully living.
I relate to Anthony in the film below in many ways. Being aware of creating a space of stillness in which to express compassion. To extend and receive love. To be angry, sad or scared. It does not always come easily.
Learning there is nothing to “fix” or “take care of” but instead simply to be fully present with myself and another – with life – in “affection, tolerance, humor, curiosity and enthusiasm”. To source from within……
“I don’t feel afraid of being dead. What frightens me is of not living fully before I die. That is a kind of terror”
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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 02/10/23