This sentiment was hewn into a bench at the entrance to the preserve where I walked today. It occurred to me that there was a time where that thought would not have appealed to me. I am drawn to nature and sometimes solitude. All of this is good, but I wonder if I hadn’t preferred it a little too much to spending time with people in the past. A bit of a loner, perhaps. It’s difficult to love and give to others when one keeps herself isolated too much of the time. Fear? Self-centeredness? Artist Temperament? Probably some of all in varying measure.
Living through one’s middle years one has the opportunity to pause, reflect, reprioritize. For me it has been a path of learning in terms of slowing down, being less concerned with accomplishments and more with listening to others. I take time to listen and talk on the trails now, getting to know my “neighbors.” I’m discovering that being patient with others and myself is much more rewarding than being right or “the best”. Using my creativity not for accolades but to express my gratefulness to the ultimate creator and to enrich the lives of others, is far better for my soul. It is my time to give back.
On another note, I do think Americans in the US don’t realize how unique a privilege it is to have solitude, quiet, room to walk, live and work ---privacy. We might expect our own bedrooms, single dwelling homes, right to privacy, and to ‘be given one’s space,” whereas peoples in other cultures, other lands really have no concept of this idea. They spend more time with their families and friends, honor and take care of their aging relatives in their homes, always plan social events that include their children. Mayhaps we as Americans could learn from other cultures in how to think less of themselves and better appreciate and honor people.
All photos and text used in this blog are copyrighted by Author of this website, unless otherwise indicated, and permission is required to use any image or text.