The Wintry Scent of Solitude

“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

December begins innocently enough. The weather not yet a problem but an expectation. The recipes still in the box, the butter frozen, the chocolate chips in their bags. But at some point, all hell breaks loose. A bitter chill, a baking catastrophe, a sudden emotional bomb thrown. And we are off to the holiday races.

Everyone of you knows what I am talking about. Things are different at my house but I am not immune from the season’s overkill. I gave up on decorating when I realized I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do in regard to Christmas.

Sometimes I put out a few token decorations. An old wreath is hung on the door. It is made of straw and has deer in it. A baby deer had come unglued so he had to be glued back on before the wreath got hung. The front porch never got washed since our painter disconnected his land line and disappeared.

I just don’t understand the concept of revelry and merriment. Rob and I did go to the Cancer Community Dinner and it was nice. Absolutely no pressure there. Just people piling their plates with Maggiano’s Lasagna and then pigging out on every kind of dessert in the world.

We had good Christmases when I was a child but my father always chose holidays to blow up and scare us kids to death. Maybe my aversion to holidays stems from that. And with my Virgo ascendant and moon in Taurus, I am almost too settled for my own good. I love the times AFTER the good times the best.

Writing is my therapy and pleasure. I totally love to trim the essay and hang the baubles on its branches. This is me at my optimum frequency. It is here I turn when I get bored or antsy. I just let the words unfold as they will.

This evening will be full of silence for me. And to untrim the tree and lay bare its branches allows me to inhale the wintry scent of solitude.

Peace be with you.


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