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1 April 2012 | Category: Stories | Author: Clare

Sometimes all falls silent.

The bridge-workers leave, and the highway shuts down. On those occasions this winter when the highway was closed, and the bridge was abandoned, it would be as if the girls and I had this place all to ourselves.

We wandered around in snow boots and winter gear. Stopping every now and then to strain to hear whether or not life moved outside of our little world. It was always a really exciting feeling to have that deep sense of peace and quiet, when everything was still for those wonderful few hours, or sometimes even a full day.

Knowing nothing, and no-one is nearby, your immediate environment seems more pristine somehow, and strangely more proximate; like there is an intimacy there that you cannot share in the presence of others; or even in the shadow of their possible arrival.

I can see why people buy large tracks of land, if they can. Or why they move out into remote areas. It is not just rewarding to challenge yourself with the associated difficulties. It truly is a special gift to find yourself absolutely alone and undisturbed. There is an inexplicable sense of one-ness with the world in those rare moments that I have never been able to attain in the company of others.

Perhaps that is where we find true honesty. Undisturbed, untainted, not coloured by our need to be a certain way, either from our own perspectives, or those of others.

Even simple social etiquette at it's most barren level, between husband and wife, parent and child, close and inseparable friends, bears some impact on our temperament and articulation. There is always a distortion of some sort.

Solitude then; perhaps that is where we truly learn about ourselves.

In which case I should welcome it's company for the time being. Gleaning from this phase in my life what I can before I inevitably grow tired of my own company, and search out the companionship of another.

For now I welcome silence, and the lessons it has for me.

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