Where do you go when you need solitude?
The word “solitude” makes me think of a scene of serenity, of calm, of peace. I suppose I have an image of someone meditating in a forest. That person knows solitude! So, I was a bit taken aback when I went to a thesaurus to look it up. The top 3 synonyms of solitude are: emptiness; isolation; and loneliness.
All of those evoke a negative connotation to me. Those words don’t jive with my picture of someone on their journey to find inner peace amongst the harmony of nature. Have I carried the wrong interpretation of “solitude” around with me my whole life? Off to a dictionary!
Merriam-Webster has a non-partisan definition, that I completely agree with: the quality or state of being alone or remote from society.
Even the dictionary’s examples coincide with the positive essence of the word I hold:
- She wished to work on her novel in solitude.
- He enjoyed the peace and solitude of his cabin in the mountains.
Well, now I’m calling into question whether I see the synonyms as negative, even though they perhaps aren’t. Am I just emotionally averse to being alone to such an extent?
Wow. This prompt has certainly taken me on a journey, of which I was ill-prepared this morning. Perhaps some solitude is precisely what I need. Touché, Universe. Where will I go to find that? Today, it will be my couch, when I meditate. Other days, it will be with Mother Nature, typically among the trees.