Solitude And Freedom
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
I’ve always been a lover of solitude. I think much of it is linked to the fact that I’m a natural-born nomad and have a rather active imagination to boot.
When I was a kid and we went home to Denmark for the summer holidays, one of my favorite pass-times was to take my bicycle and ride off into the woods. Deep in the forest, in a place where the sun barely filtered through the thick trees were old Viking graves (gravhøj) that seemed to be forgotten and undiscovered (or so my young wild mind imagined) by everyone but me. I would play around the old graves, creating stories of great warriors, talking to their ghosts and losing myself completely in the imposing mounds and tall, dark tress. Some kids would have been terrified by such a place but this was my happy place, the spot where I felt most connected and free, even back then.
I went back to one of these graves only a few years ago and the stories and feelings are still there for me, as fresh in my mind as the day I created them. I might even have added a few love tales that time (being the romantic sap that I am).
I’ve been doing these kinds of solo walks my entire adult life, and I honestly don’t think I could survive without them.
Back in my early “city” days many of these walks were in Art Galleries where I could silently peruse oil and chalk paintings, imagining the thoughts of the painters who created them and conjuring stories in my mind of their lives and loves. When I was a student I would “escape” to the countryside on my bicycle or (rather later) in my car, finding remote trails to occupy my mind and soothe my soul. When I was stuck working a regular job, I would spend entire weekends in the mountains filling my brain’s imagination for the week ahead. During my darkest times, when I was feeling locked or deeply depressed they were my key to freedom, the only thing that could bring my mind back to the light.
These trips of solitude have been my constant drug in life, and there’s not a single time when I haven’t explored in this way, no matter how “fixed” in location I was.
To this day, despite my extroverted nature, periods of complete solitude are still my most treasured moments, and with the RVing lifestyle they’ve become even more easily accessible.
Part of what I love about our travels is that we get to go to remote and crazy places, filled with stories of times past where we can lose ourselves in the wildness of it all. When we’re out in these spots I’ll often leave hubby behind and take doggie on long solo walks, letting the landscape and my imagination lead the way. Those moments are when I have my most profoundest thoughts, my deepest centering, my best photos and my craziest ideas. They feed my soul, they are my freedom and I always come back refreshed and happy when I’m done.
Oh and yeah, whenever you see a “philosophical” post on the blog you’ll know I just finished one 🙂