“What do you have to say?” I would ask the tree. It would stare back at me with its intertwining barks and twigs, reaching high for the clouds into the silent skies. Then it would suddenly fall back and echo itself in my peripheral vision until all I could see were hundreds of its replicates in the wood. In their conceiving silence, I would hear the invisible spring birds chirping amongst the bare branches, and glimpse squirrels hopping in the faded fallen leaves at the exposed tree roots.  Tiny streams from snow that had busied itself in melting all through the previous nights would trickle down the tree line, furrowing the path’s already moist visage. Yet still I would pick my way through, stepping over half decomposed maple leaves and twigs of yester-fall, wholly enchanted and gladly muted.


I remember a time when solitude meant shutting myself away into a closed space, a room for example, rather than setting myself free, letting my soul out: spread, share and revel in the pure release of the senses. I had needed to be away from the noise, the visual stimulus, the uneasiness, the dread, the fear, the anxiety, the perturbed feelings other people always managed to evoke in me.

Later on I finally learnt to shut myself within my own eyes, I could then walk on the busiest streets without feeling intruded, with the exception of the unlikely event of meeting an acquaintance. The sun, the dog, the bees, the shadows, were all once upon a time my best friends; and music, reading and frolicking were some of my busier moments.  Yet being married and having a child did not help, everybody always seemed to be in demand of me; somehow I never had the time give myself solitude, to take a deep breath, to recover. The time I needed to simply draw a breath, not to mention solitude time, took longer and longer, that eventually guilt overrode everything.

However, now that the trees are speaking to me again, the clouds sailing, the roads travelling and the streams reflecting, maybe I can find my old self again somewhere inside the woods, in the nook of our still chilly spring air.




Writing Challenge for Introverts:


4 thoughts on “Solitude

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