Of Solitude and Quiet Mornings | #SoulfulSunday

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

Henry David Thoreau

It is said that Thoreau set out for the woods near Walden Pond in search of solitude. He thought it was an essential prerequisite to get on with his thoughts and his writing. Perhaps it was the harsh noise of the city life that led him to take to the woods.

He intended to live that way, the peace and the quiet allowing him to pour himself into his work. It was almost 20 years ago when I chanced upon Thoreau and his work. It fascinated me to read how the solitude of the woods had taught him about living. Quite an irony, I mused. And yet, I did not grasp the extent of what solitude meant to him until recently, when I discovered how much I’ve come to savour and depend upon the quiet hours to keep myself sane and centred in a world that continues to thwart my peace and calm.

I’m not a loner by any means. I love being around people that are dear to me. I’m not averse to meeting strangers either. I genuinely enjoy human company, and whilst I’ve always believed that I’ve been introverted for the most part of my growing up years, I’ve also surprised myself upon realising that I can be an ambivert too, at times. Maybe, a bit of both, at different times. And happily so.

And yet, when I start my day in the wee hours of the morning, while the world is deep in slumber, I realise how essential solitude is, to me. I sit in meditation for about ten minutes and then write in my journal about things that perhaps will never get a chance to surface through the day. The calm of the morning hours brings me the silence that I absolutely cherish, one, in which nothing matters, except the moment that lies before me. It feels as if time stops for a while and I’m given this most precious gift to learn what solitude has to teach me, so I can listen to the inner voice that gets drowned in the cacophony of a busy day.

In those hours of solitary bliss, I find the space to focus, to create and to truly be who I am!

Sitting alone and sitting still isn’t something that is easy to do. Agree, some of us are wired to find that comforting but many of us aren’t. And yet, anyone who meditates daily will vouch for the fact that it is a great way to recharge the mind, body and soul. If you asked me, I’d say—nothing, absolutely nothing can ever come close to this bliss! For me, the most interesting take from this practice is how much one learns about oneself and how one learns to be more mindful with each passing day.

The way I do it is very simple. All I do is keep aside a block of time in the early mornings to sit quietly and focus inwards. That is all one needs to do. Invest in the process and I can promise you what you’ll gain out of this practice will be far beyond your expectations.

The time I set aside each day is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. It helps me stay focussed on my goals and keep negative thoughts at bay. It makes a tremendous difference, to how I face the day ahead. The monkey mind that swings from one thing to the other is not juggling anything then, but sitting in stillness, working in tandem with the deep breaths and holding the consciousness in the here and now. The sense of comfort in solitude is often a bonus!

My only grudge is that these quiet hours don’t last long! Washing off the grime and dust of everyday living, they slip away as softly as they come.

As sunlight filters through the curtains, I know it’s time to head back into a busy world, once again. And as I do, I know I’ll be waiting for another twenty-four hours, before I find myself ready to be alive to the joys of solitude, once again!

 

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Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by VinithaShilpa and yours truly.

 

9 thoughts

  1. I’m not a loner too, but I love my alone time. I love those peaceful mornings when it is just me, my cup of coffee and my thoughts. Bliss!

  2. Ah the bliss of solitude! The precious company of self!

    Most of us sail in the same boat, with so many caps we wear & juggle thru the day. That space when there is nobody but us alone is sacred and much needed.

    I was once very social with bouts of solitude once in a while. Now I enjoy my company more 😂 So what Thoreau said perfectly suits me 💗

    Soulful post as always Esha! I hope things are getting better at your end.

  3. My only grudge is that these quiet hours don’t last long! Washing off the grime and dust of everyday living, they slip away as softly as they come….. These lines spoke so loudly to me.
    The busier we are, and the more emotionally wrought, the more solitude helps to brings us back to ourselves.
    Beautifully written, Esha.

  4. I love my mornings too. Though I use them to just savor nature and breathe in the quiet. I would love to write in the mornings some day. I loved reading about your morning routine Esha. I am also like you. Not a loner but I love my quiet.

  5. Your closing words aptly describe my state of mind from a few years ago. I had also written a post about how jittery I start feeling as I inch closer to the moment the house is about to wake up with little D and his antics filling up my day without giving me a moment to take a pause and breath. The thought that I will have to wait for a full 24 hours to get my solitude back gave me a dread. I liked Henry Thoreau’s quote. It speaks my heart and mind, both.

  6. Nothing better than the alone time and quiet of the morning. My favorite time of day.

    Have a fabulous day and rest of the week. ♥

  7. I too love those moments in the early mornings when I am awake and the world still asleep. Such bliss! When I stand in the balcony sipping warm water, looking at the sky changing colours, savouring the peaceful minutes, I wish these moments lasted longer. How wonderful that would be!
    Loved this post!!! <3

  8. In the book “The Midnight Library” Henry Thoreau is quoted many times over.
    I know what you mean. The early morning time is the only slice of time I get to enjoy by myself. I don’t always meditate, but writing my morning page is a sort of meditation for me. Also doing pranayama. Just siting without doing anything but listening to the sound of stillness is my absolute favorite.
    What a lovely read, Esha! 🙂

  9. I think you just gave me the answer to what I was seeking . I too get up in the morning and savour the peace of a quiet morning but instead of using it to reflect and plan how I want my day to unravel, I start thinking about writing and clever ideas, sentences, word play etc . And even before I can write down any of these thoughts they vanish .
    Perhaps I should be more mindful and use this time effectively and productively to reflect and ponder on my own behaviour so that my time spent in solitude becomes more meaningful.

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