My experience here in this cabin is beginning to feel quite surreal. Less than fifteen minutes down the road are Simon and both puppies – in other words – home. And here I am – alone.
I have been alone a good deal of my life – almost always by choice and very happily. So – I’m alone. Am I lonely? I’m not sure. I don’t know if I understand the meaning of loneliness, mainly because I have always enjoyed the experience of being alone. But I think if I had to define it, I’d say that alone is by choice; lonely is enforced solitude. And that solitude can happen in a crowd. It doesn’t depend on proximity to people. I have spent some of my happiest alone times in big European cities like Paris and Rome, wandering through the streets, weaving through crowds and feeling almost completely invisible.
But not lonely.
I’m honestly not sure if this – what I am feeling now – is lonely. More likely, it’s just a matter of weird circumstances. This is a bit like a year ago when Simon and I were together and yet at least one or two nights a week retreated to our separate homes – and being apart didn’t feel right.
Being apart now doesn’t feel right.
But I still feel good that I made at least some sort of contribution today: laundry, vacuuming, walking dogs, feeding dogs etc. Very soon the real work will begin.
It’s also quite interesting that this afternoon Simon and I had the exact same thought: Simon while he was working on the ceiling, me while I was walking with the dogs on the awesome trail where I felt the need for a headlamp at about 3.15 p.m. The thought: I could never live in the Arctic – in fact, I feel as though I am currently living in the Arctic.
I miss the sun so much that when I thought about it, I almost cried. But, as Simon said, this isn’t just a fact of the Kootenays this year – this lack of sun and light is widespread across the province, including on Vancouver Island. It seems especially pronounced here. I have seen dark days on Vancouver Island – days of rain and cloud – never this heavy, oppressive low-lying fog and cloud that just sits on top like a prison. I understand now why Scandinavian countries nurture “hygge” – the idea of indoor coziness. I am so ready for some coziness – hoping to create that when this upstairs house work is done and we can begin to finish things off – to make this house a cozy, retreat.
I realized something about me today – my attachments have always been more to places than people. I immediately judge that as “bad.” This is something I should change. After all, people are more important – right?
In my life, right or wrong, good or bad, places have captured me, held me, called to me, stolen my heart. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love my friends. There are people I love and who are very dear to me. But I can be in touch with people at great distances. Places – well, when you are not in them, they are lost. Places, for me, have a soul and a beingness. I’m not talking about cities – they are man-built. I am talking about places that are sacred – where the soul of nature resides.
There are few places that have a hold on me – but those that do, have a grip that is strong. These are the places that feel like home. When I am there, my soul exhales.
Well – enough philosophical meandering for now – my focus now is writing, dinner, bed and a full day tomorrow – whip this house into shape.