Reflecting on Solitude….

Our home feels particularly empty after the weekend. I enjoy time with my family, yet in recent years I have also learned to enjoy having the house to myself. So I was drawn to this dramatic photo by my new friend Luis. I love the single tree on the horizon, reaching for the sky in the early morning light. The branches look so delicate and graceful. I’m waiting for this slender tree to begin to dance. For many years, I equated solitude with loneliness. I actively sought out the company of others, filling my calendar with social engagements to be sure I was never alone. When my father lived with us, I was seldom by myself. As his health declined toward the end of his life, we seemed to have an endless stream of visitors and hospice support. We needed that help to allow Daddy to die at home, and are immensely grateful for our loving and supporting community. Yet there were days when I would soak in the tub, turning on the fan to drown out all evidence of existence other than my own. I simply needed to stop, to just be, to enjoy the solitude. After Daddy passed away, our home became curiously quiet. Now, three years later, there are days when I eat all three meals alone, my husband and daughter busy with work and school. I find time for prayer, creative pursuits and exercise. I am present to what life brings me, enjoying both my time alone and with others. Take time today to consider the difference between loneliness and being alone. Consider ways to make time and space for yourself in a busy household, to enjoy solitude in the midst of family concerns. Explore the balance between time alone and time with others, learning how to respect the need for time apart in your family and friends. And remember, if you sink into the solitude, you may find yourself poised to dance on a new horizon. Photo entitled ‘The End’ by Luis Gonzalez, used with his permission

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Reflecting on the Horizon….

It’s milder this morning, and the sky is a brilliant blue. At first glance, it seems there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Then you notice wispy ice clouds overhead, racing with the wind. So I was drawn to this photo of the Opequon River Estuary in Connecticut taken by my friend David. I love how the deep red sky is reflected in the water. It feels like you can see forever, as if the horizon were pushed back further than you could imagine possible. I don’t know about you, but such beauty stops me cold. Sometimes I am uncertain how long I remain gazing at such a sight. I get lost in the swirls of the ice clouds, as the color slowly changes with the rising sun. My first assignment in the military was in the desert in Nevada, working night shift on the flight line. That shift allowed me to see the sun rise and set almost every day for three years. The skies in the desert are amazing, full of color and strange light, sometimes reflecting off the mica in the desert sand. Even the toughest guys would be stopped in their tracks during sunrise. Take time today to gaze at the horizon, to look beyond the here and now. Let go of the limits of this life and whatever hems you in. Allow the Almighty to show you a way out of your current situation, a way beyond mere human conception. And remember, what seems impossible to us is but a little thing to the same God that offers us infinite beauty at the start of each new day. Photo by David Buckwalter ©2011, used with his permission

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