Between my wife’s death and Covid-19 isolation, I’ve spent a lot of time alone this last year.
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone. Lonely is a state of mind; alone is a fact.
In the silence broken only by my skis swooshing along the tracks, I amused myself thinking of the benefits of being alone.
· No negotiating about where to go, or when and where to meet.
· No competition about who’s going to drive.
· No disagreements over what to pack for lunch. No juggling menus to suit someone else’s dietary needs.
· No hurrying to keep up with someone younger and fitter.
· No reason not to stop, to catch a breath, to take in the view.. Or, in other settings, to pull off the road to read a historical marker, or to visit some natural wonder you’ve always rushed past before.
· No need to phone anyone just because you’re running a little late.
· And in a broader sense, no interruptions in the middle of a thought, a moment of meditation, or of prayer.