Thursday, October 11, 2012

By George Matthew Adams

There isn't a human being who doesn't need solitude - yet there are many who can't appreciate it when they have it.

In the truest sense, however, there can be no real solitude for to make solitude beautiful and full of warmth, there must be something about it to stimulate as well as to heal the tired and restless heart of him or her who would seek it.

Solitude in a hotel room, far from loved ones, is not to be commended, nor is it to be sought.

But solitude "out where the west begins" or amongst the hills and valleys of some sylvan stretch is to feed the soul on honey.

Solitude under a tree by the banks of some running stream, with the scent of wild flowers and the song of wild birds about, and a book in hand emphasizing the makes of some fine grained mind - that is solitude - both to be sought and enjoyed. In solitude we meet ourselves. We are stripped of all glamour and conceit and made to feel our frailty as well as our strength. For there are times when a man gets to himself only to find that he is not the weakling he and others supposed him to be. To spend such time is to enrich all mankind.

It is not surprising that others do not understand us when we misunderstand ourselves so much and so often. Solitude helps us to appraise our own gifts, our own inheritance.

Solitude helps to sweep out the mind, too. The little petty annoyances scamper off for richer booty and the solitary soul is left to feed upon its own treasured gains.

In solitude we gain self-confidence, see our own follies in their tinseled coverings, and are resolved to be better and do better.