I crave alone time. The solitude. The pure joy of being one with myself and the world around me. Of sitting with my thoughts floating on the lightness of the silence carried on the rustle of the grass, the whisper of leaves floating to earth. I crave being immersed in the world around me without distraction.
Latte, open sunroof, blaring tunes, I drove south yesterday afternoon through the rolling foothills to the Leighton Foundation Art Gallery and Museum. An ocean of blue soared above me. The sun slipped westward like a golden egg sliding across a celestial plate, arching towards the opened jaw of the Rockies lined up along the western horizon, awaiting its just desserts at end of day. The world was awash in golden leaves glimmering in the sunlight and green grasses defying nature's pull towards autumnal tones.
Happiness flowed through me, a burbling brook of jostling waters eagerly greeting the day, capturing the light and sounds and textures of each moment passing by. Rolling hills stretched out, corrugated fields, a patchwork of golds and yellows and blackened earth marched across a landscape worthy of the palette of any Group of Seven aficionado.
It didn't matter that the Museum was closed when I got there. It didn't matter that the treasures within were locked away from view. I had an entire afternoon to revel in the beauty of the day, the landscape, the vistas stretched out before me, the outdoor gallery splashed with glorious autumn sunlight.
The museum sits high up on a rolling escarpment, westward facing, looking out across the valley, onto the scalloped edge of the foothills gracing the base of the Rockies beyond. Surrounded by acres of forest and open grasslands rolling down towards the valley bottom, the museum displays nature's art au naturel.
I wandered through a grove of poplar trees that formed a natural gallery for The Zimbabwe Sculpture Garden. Giant marble statues stood on display in forest groves and open spaces. Beautiful, smooth and textured pieces of art that evoked a sense of solidarity -- with the earth, with mankind, with nature.
As I wandered out of the glen, I picked up a trail across the slopes towards a herd of cattle grazing on the hillside. They were oblivious to my presence, their bovine contentment complete with grasses to munch, a lazy breeze to whisk away pesky flies and an uninterrupted view of the world around them. One large Swiss Brown momentarily stopped her continuous chomping, lifted her head up and gazed at me with her dark velvety eyes. We stood for a second staring at each other. I smiled. Said a quick, "Hello." She flicked her ears, switched her tail and returned to munching.
I laughed. Summarily dismissed by a Swiss Brown Cow. I continued my hike.
Eventually, I came to a wooden bench perched on a ridge. The view was spectacular. Rolling hills, glistening pools of water laced through the landscape like jewels studded randomly on a quilted blanket of greens and golds and burnished coppers splashed with vibrant reds and oranges. In the distance, the Rockies lumbered across the horizon swathed in a hazy afternoon glow.
I sat on the bench and pulled out my journal. I'd come away from the city for this time alone to gather my thoughts, to connect to the essence of my feelings, to embrace the completeness in my world.
It is my challenge in relationship. To comfortably expand my solitude to embrace someone else, someone particular, special. To breathe deeply and not breathe into my fear of losing my peace of mind. I need the time alone to balance myself, to stabilize my perspective, to embrace my emotions.
Fear is the opportunity to be courageous. In stepping into relationship waters, I rise above my fear.
In taking time to be alone, to hear my heart beating in time with nothing but the world around me, I calm my fears, stoke my courage and come back to earth to the truth within me. I am worthy. I am complete. I am love.
Sitting on a bench, the fecund world wide open before me like a mother's womb erupting with life, possibilities explode into being, beauty erupts beyond the confines of a relationship into the knowing that all is right with my world. Fear subsides, contentment settles and I know that I am okay when I move with grace, ease and dignity through each moment. Not pushing out, bearing down on 'the meaning', but letting it unfold in nature's own time.
What will be will be. My responsiblity is to be open and honest, caring and kind. To be all that I am meant to be in all kinds of weather, over hills and dales, across open waters and stormy seas. My responsiblity is to be me.
The question is: Where do you push down on nature's unfolding, hurrying the birthing of each moment with your desire to make it happen right now? Where are you forcing the moment to expand into meaning rather than finding the meaning in each moment?