Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bohemian Mama: Solitude

There are some days when Yarrow is an easy companion, riding along with her wide eyes, laughing and learning. Then there are other days, and on those days I long to get away. In one online forum I recently discovered that most mothers are lucky to get an hour a month of pure solitude. I was shocked, and more than ever, I was grateful to my husband, who gives me much more than that, and who does so not because he feels obligated, but because he wants the best for me, and wants the time with Yarrow. On the evenings I run off to use the computer, throw pots in the kitchen, or just get away to write, walk the woods, or nap at home while he and Yarrow wander. The downtime is essential to my own peace of mind, as is the solitude. It’s interesting to look at what the term “introvert” means to different people - I loved this take on it - and one of the principle misunderstandings I encounter is the assumption that a person is an introvert if she is shy and quiet, and an extrovert if she isn’t. The assumption has led too many people to label me (mistakenly) as an extrovert. My husband though, is well aware that I need my solitude in large and regular doses, and he does his best to protect and nourish that solitude - both the pure solitude of time to myself to think, create, and rest; and the pleasant “family solitude” of time spent alone with him and Yarrow - nurturing our little domestic church.

The importance of “family solitude” is something I work hard to remember and cherish. On most days, it’s something I don’t even think about - a natural part of life. Only when it’s interrupted - when we’re spending too much time running around, distracted, that I reach out consciously for “family solitude”. This past weekend, while the rain fell, we soaked up our time. The road in washed out, and so we nestled together with nothing to do but be. With coffee in the pot, pancakes on the table, and good books all around, we came through the storm washed clean, ready drain our sodden garden, store up the water against the dry days we hope will come, and go out again into the world.

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