In Celebration of Small Things: A Dose of Solitude
“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.” ~ Blaise Pascal
“When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death—ourselves.” ~ Eda LeShan
As you probably have gathered from past posts, I’ve been have a marvellous time in France. Much of my energy has gone into the mental area of life, as I’ve tried to understand French speakers and in turn make myself understood, Aussie accent permitting. But now I’ve landed in a more isolated situation, without the presence of friends to engage in conversation. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country, which each day comes more alive with colour and aroma. There’s no TV or lounge to lounge on, just three upright chairs and two cushions. In comparison with my two previous house sits, the unrenovated farmhouse is rustic and demands my adjustment. But in the short time I’ve been here Ive’started to let go of the mental fatigue of speaking another language, much as I love to learn and speak French.
The rusticity has also encouraged me to release certain things like ironing my clothes
or wearing jewellery —there’s really no need for that when I walk down to feed the horses in the paddock.
But the biggest bonus has been the mental downtime: my meditation is deeper, sleep longer, dreams clearer. Not that I’m completely isolated, the neighbours are close-by and I occasionally meet others, locals or pilgrims, when walking. But for all this wonderful letting go I’ve become aware of one stark and shocking fact :I’ll be back in Australia at the beginning of June.
How could two months evaporate so quickly? So again I’m presented with the opportunity to consciously make the most of the solitude-and on returning to Australia start planning my next trip to France
But wait! There’s a knock on the door, its my neighbour who tells me he has a group of pilgrims staying overnight and one of them is Australian. Would I like to join them after dinner? Curiosity wins and my solitude is interrupted-for an hour or so.