In a crowded town on the first day of December the weather was unusually warm here. The sun peeked in and out and I found myself grabbing over and over for the protection of my sunglasses. It doesn’t feel like the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas. Oh, the Christmas music is playing on all my favorite radio stations. And the shops are decorated and the billboards are touting the season. But something was amiss today.
After some welcome reflective time spent in community, I realized as I turned to go home, that the emotion closest to the surface was loneliness. Not because I am physically alone in the world – I have my wonderful children, friends, and family who love me. But a deeper melancholy – one that speaks of the soul. One that soaks in the realization that in spite of what I own and who I know, I am travelling on this life journey alone. I am influenced by others and seek to do the same. But I am learning my lessons, one at a time, on my own. I am opening my heart to greater awareness in solitary cadence and with a rhythm all my own. This is not the loneliness of the heart, this is the loneliness of the mind when we realize that we are surrounded by a voice, our own voice, narrating our life one thought at a time.
Perhaps I am alone in these thoughts as well. In that moment I knew that I had a choice to make. I could focus on the solitary emotions of the journey or I could relish the connections of the heart. And that is what I chose. I chose to connect with the woman at the restaurant where I picked up my dinner. I chose to connect with my son who is rarely home when I am. I chose to connect with my dogs who make home just a little bit warmer. And now, I choose to connect with you. This is the only thing – the touch of other solitary travelers, that chases the loneliness away.
On your solitary journey, when the melancholy sinks in a little too close, reach out and connect and be blessed!