Solitude in Nature

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Thoreau’s Need for Solitude

“By my intimacy with nature I find myself withdrawn from man. My interest in the sun and the moon, in the morning and the evening, compels me to solitude.” July 25, 1851

“Ah! I need solitude. I have come forth to this hill at sunset to see the forms of the mountains in the horizon — to behold and commune with something grander than man. It is with infinite yearning and aspiration that I seek solitude, more and more resolved and strong…”   August 14, 1854

“I have lately got back to that glorious society called Solitude.” January 1, 1859

Often we are tired of being alone. We seek company, we crave the touch. We need the frenetic noise of ‘culture’. But, for some, perhaps not as obsessively as Thoreau, we seek solitude, if even for a quiet sunrise or sunset. Or, we seek it for the longer hike up into the woods, or along the stream’s edge, to a vista that’s bigger than us and our acquired burdens.

I recently sat, alone, overlooking a river. The sound of the water tumbling down over rock ledges and plunging, the sound birds in the trees above, the feel of the cool breeze against my face was beyond peaceful or relaxing. Had I been in an urban setting, my mind would probably be flittering about, dancing from one tedious worry or plan to another. The silence would have to be thwarted with the TV or stereo or the clickety clack of a keyboard. Antsy, I would need to busy myself. On the river, I felt none of that. No timeline, no noise beyond nature’s rhythm. My senses were acutely honed in on details beyond my mind’s clatter. Solitude in Nature is invigorating while soothing. 

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2 Responses to “Solitude in Nature”

  1. 1 yammy1998
    September 2, 2014 at 21:15

    Easy to get lost along a waters edge alone. Lovely to do so now and again and even if you are by yourself you are not really alone


  2. September 1, 2014 at 13:31

    yes, the worrisome variety for sure…but the watch the morning sun come up….not so much 🙂


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