The other night my husband needed to run up to our local CVS drugstore to get something that we couldn’t due without until morning. I don’t recall what the item was — I immediately forgot when he offered to take my son with him on the errand.
*** 15 minutes of alone time for me! ***
These days, it’s rare that I’m in the house by myself. I can’t remember the last time it happened actually, which is why I got so excited the other night to have those precious few moments of solitude.
Last night I was reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea,” a precious book about Mrs. Lindbergh’s time of solitude on an island in SW Florida more than 50 years ago. The book is timeless, offering gifts of insight and wisdom from her point of view as a wife and mother.
This passage struck me:
Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn how to be alone.”
I believe Lindbergh is saying that we are so used to being surrounded by people, children, friends — I’ll add, in this day and age, the Internet, TV, coworkers, teachers, busyness. How do we silence all that goes on in our minds?
I’m sure you’ve tried to be in a peaceful moment, maybe it’s as you close your eyes with your head on the pillow. You slowly quiet down from the day. Then, thoughts and sounds overpower this quiet moment. Did I turn the stove off after dinner? Did I put the wet laundry in the dryer? That conversation I had with my son’s teacher about his performance comes screeching back into my head. Did I say everything I needed to say to her?
We need to learn how to be quiet. As Lindbergh said, “we need to re-learn to be alone.”
- Get a copy of “Gift from the Sea“