4006 – What Does Your Solitude Look Like?

Walking into a stand of pine trees is a favorite place

I no longer live in an area rife with pine trees, but I spent the bigger part of my youth amidst them. For me, there’s nothing like a nice stand of pine trees with needles covering the ground. It’s a natural insolation from the world. The smell. The feel. The serenity.

Sadly, my adulthood solitude hasn’t included pine trees. Mostly, it happens in random places sought out at the spur of a moment. It often happens inside a car. Today’s show was recorded in a car. Parked in a parking lot with windows lowered about 1/4 of the way. The sounds of nearby traffic and a clear blue sky over head.

Sometimes we need to find a place with a lower noise floor so we can think more clearly. Introspection demands a focus we don’t often get in today’s constantly plugged-in environment.

People regularly eat with a fork in one hand and their iPhone in the other. They don’t talk to the people two feet from them, often preferring to interact with people miles away who mean much less to them. Important conversations give way to Words-With-Friends, which is an ironic name implying that valuable words are exchanged with friends. Racket replaces relationships even though relationship building gets tons of lip service. Increasingly, it means connecting with people who can help promote us, or make us look bigger, more successful or more popular.

A moment arrives, perhaps out of the blue, and suddenly the urge hits us. We need an instant change of scenery. We need a quiet place to be alone. Away from the ordinary distractions. Including the Internet. And cell phones.

Alone. With just our thoughts. And perhaps our beliefs and convictions.

To ponder. To wonder. To let our minds help us find solutions or options.

These days I mostly find solitude from inside my car, parked in the exact same location where I recorded a podcast over at BulaNetwork about the death of my best friend, Stanley.

What does your solitude look like?


New Year's Meeting 2013
Me with Easton Cantrell, my 10-month-old grandson in south Alabama
a large stand of pine trees near Dothan, Alabama where I took Easton


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