"I am too alone in the world
yet not alone enough
to make each hour holy."
~Rainer Maria Rilke
The heat this July has been full and rich and heavy. I comes in the mid-morning and fills the day with the damp, sweaty scent of summer. We've been keeping out of it as best we can, and lounging with Japanese fans in the shade of the trees when we can't go anywhere else. I would like to say that I've been resting in solitude with my husband and our baby, but we've seen so much of others, it would be a lie. The visits have been wonderful: my family, our good friends, Yarrow's baptism and the party that followed - I wouldn't have passed them up, but I'm ready to retreat now; ready to curl myself away from others and refresh.
I'm not unsocial, I love people. I love visiting and talking - especially with tea or cold lemonade around a lovely table. I love seeing again the people I love who live far away. But I am refreshed and revived in solitude - either alone, or with my own tiny family. It's only there that I really feel I have the space to think, my mind quiets down and can begin to reflect.
The need for solitude is something I aways worry will be misunderstood. I think sometimes it comes across as a rejection when really it is a retreat: an chance to make myself into a person who is better able to greet each person in love and hospitality, because I have the richness of solitude within to sustain me.