Craving Solitude

I love the peace that comes after the storm.   Or the quiet in the office after all the day’s hustle and bustle has died down and the only thing to hear is stillness (except for the air conditioner).   If I have a choice, I prefer taking lunch later in the afternoon because all my favorite haunts are nearly crowd-less, and the overwhelming waves of chatter and clatter are reduced subtle roars.  The quiet coffee shop in the wee hours of the morning is another of my favorite places.   What could be better than breathing in freshly brewed beans in the quiet thoughts of reflection?

I love to go on long drives but seldom do because my responsibilities often get in the way.  My soul longs for moments of solitude with on empty roads.  In the lateness of the evening, occasionally, I’ll role down the window and pop the sunroof just to listen to the wind passing by.  It might be brisk, and this time of year it’s downright freezing, but risk of frostbite seems insignificant while I listen to tires coasting across smooth black asphalt.

Bookstores are amongst my favorite places to be alone.  Most times I love taking my kids with me–they enjoy book browsing as much as the old man.  But I also treasure those moments of wandering the shelves alone, like exploring catacombs in pursuit of my own personal discoveries.  It makes me smirk how people often treat bookstores with the same silent reverence given to libraries.  Call me selfish, but I enjoy having the whole aisle to myself.  It’s not that I mind other shoppers, but book wandering is enhanced when I’m not consciously thinking thoughts about being in someone Else’s way.

Expressing my joy about solitude causes me mild concern–am I becoming a hermit?  My concern is fleeting because I love my social interactions way too much.  Still, this recent passion for solitude makes me wonder was it always there and  I just never noticed it before now.  Or is part of me seeking shelter from life’s storms?

I seldom feel like a man caught in the midst of conflict, and there are few days that my soul longs for refuge.  Could it be that as I age and my experiences mount in numbers, it just takes longer for me to mentally process things?  Or was I just less reflective before?  Or worse, is this just part of getting old?  I’m not certain, and whatever the case, I certainly love my interactions with friends and family.  I think part of me has awakened to the simplicity in spending moments alone and with any acquired taste, my taste buds are just waking up to it all.