Rethinking Solitude


I’m writing this during the long days of quarantine and isolation.

It is late April, and we are still very much in the midst of “The Great Pause” caused by the global pandemic.

I had to turn off the radio today in irritation. The story wasn’t at fault. Two reporters were encouraging their isolated listeners to shift their mindset from “loneliness” to “solitude.”

And it hit me: solitude is what I miss the most.

With two work-from-home parents and four school-from-home children, there is no such thing as solitude. Or is there?

I used to think solitude as necessary as food, water, and sleep. I didn’t think I could live without it. How have I lived six weeks without it?

The garden, that’s how.

Every garden has a bit of Eden in it.

When I step into my garden, it almost doesn’t matter that my children are only a few yards away (playing, fighting). The burden of my to-do list or my upcoming zoom call both feel a little lighter. Whether I’m weeding or pruning or simply sitting “for a spell,” as my grandmother used to say, it’s as if I’ve stepped into a pool of solitude.

The quiet strength of sunshine penetrates, quite literally, deep into our bones.

When a breeze blows, the trees and their murmuring leaves impart peace.

The astonishing beauty of a flower is like a cup that overflows.

The ancient words of a shepherd’s song still hold true:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.



Posted on

April 27, 2020

1 Comment

  1. Katie

    So beautiful, Christie!


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