Solitude

I learned early on that being alone wasn’t always so lonely. Being uncomfortable with the larger world, I only felt safe in my beloved woods and fields. Solitude was my best friend. I could hear God whisper in the quietness. But it’s the nature of life to get louder and more crowded. It seems to be the nature of man to crave constant stimulation.

But sometimes now, in the depths of the night, it comes back in like a wave. And I feel myself rolling in a silent grave. As if the sea has returned to claim me, to drag my limp body down, ever down to the depths. The sinking starts after midnight and the morning comes too soon. I’m not ready for the light to creep into my darkened room. I want, I need, to lie lifeless on the ocean floor, just a little longer, just a bit more. To drink my cup of solitude is a blessing. To inhale it’s icy, clean water into starved lungs.

Until I feel nothing but the water and hear nothing but my breath. And you might think me mad. You may be right. But, how mad are our cities and and shores, teaming with millions whose voices never stop. Hammering. Yammering, Clammering to be heard.

Once, we had the six o’clock news.

And when it was done, you could turn it off.

Walk outside. Sit in the starlight. Let the peepers lull you to sleep.

Now the noise never stops. And it seems you’re entitled, no, required, to join in.

Add some yammering and clammering of your own.

But don’t you ever just want to be?

To be emptied of your opinions.

To feel God instead of trying to understand Him.

Sometimes it’s even more than all that.

Sometimes it rolls over me like a dream, a song too long unsung. This longing for the womb. For utter stillness of mind and heart and body and soul.

Before we travel into this world, we are known.

Floating in embryonic fluid. In a sea of silence, where God’s voice gradually speaks us into being without a sound.

But sometimes it’s even more than that.

Sometimes I miss what I can’t possibly recall. To roll under waves of grace, yes, before I ever shed a tear. But further back, there is a deeper solitude.

Before time, before death. Blessed quietness before the sin curse. To be but a seed in the mind of the Almighty, but a drop of inspiration in the endless garden of His mind. If I could rest there for a moment, or an eternity. To be yet unspoken. That would be the ultimate communion within the most vast solitude of all.

Yes, I learned early not to speak all these thoughts. The line between musings and madness is thin, after all.

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Rachel Svendsen

Reading. Writing. Me.

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