From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Alone’
(read the full poem here)
Sometimes, we all need that alone time – to recharge, to take refuge from a demanding world; whether that be by curling up with a book, or simply stopping to sit and take in the natural beauty all around us. And that isn’t just me spouting some hippyish nonsense – it can often do our mental health a world of good, as well; there is a marked difference between being lonely and simply being alone. If we didn’t have snatches of time to ourselves (even if they can often be difficult to find), we would likely be driven crazy within the madding crowd.
I find myself thinking about this in the midst of writing my novel, as two characters end up having a discussion about this ), the small pleasures of solitude.(which thinking about it, may be a tad ironic…) Both appreciators of fine literature, one of them quotes a passage from Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,…
Byron beautifully illustrates his point through his use of words – the ‘pathless woods’, particularly appealing, implying the idea of simply going for a walk in the forest just for walking’s sake – why does there have to be an ultimate destination? And while it refers to a ‘lonely shore’ this is not portrayed as something negative – for it is near a deep sea with ‘music in its roar’ – indeed, is there a feeling quite like sitting on the beach alone, simply listening to the sounds of the sea, the wind whistling in the air?
Of course, finding one worthy to ‘share’ your solitary spots with, your secret places to get away from it all, is one of life’s simple joys as well. There is something to be said for being ‘alone together’, of course 😉 But let’s not forget to appreciate our time alone as well – as the same character in my novel says, ‘Solitude is not something that should be actively avoided’ – make the most of it when you have the luxury of a little ‘me time’!
Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M