In Search of Solitude

In Search of Solitude

Phyllis Lifestyle 39 Comments

Solitude is an intriguing word. It is defined as “the state or situation of being alone;” not being lonely, but being alone. Solitude to me is a peaceful word, and brings to mind a state of calm and serenity.

There are times in my day when I need quiet. I don’t want to hear the radio, the chatter of crowds, the phone ringing, or a television. I just need the quiet time to think. Solitude.

When I was a little girl, I loved visiting my grandparents. My Dad’s parents had this gigantic walnut tree growing right near their house. This tree seemed to tower high above the house and create a beautiful place of shade outside. Their wooden rockers rested under the sprawling canopy and when my Grandmother’s morning chores were completed, she would always say, “let’s go to the tree!” We would sit for hours under the tree reading, or just listening to the breeze blowing through the leaves. Many times no one said a word, we just enjoyed the quiet. I could rock for hours under their tree with them.

Today, finding quiet is hard. I long for quiet and a time to think. I have decided that you have to make time for yourself. It will never occur naturally! Neal and I enjoy our morning coffee time before the world wakes up and our day begins. It’s our time of quiet.

Let’s encourage each other in the days ahead to find solitude in our day. Turn off the electronics and find a favorite chair to enjoy being alone. For me, I will make it a part of my day. It refreshes me and restores my soul.

How about you?

Comments 39

  1. Solitude! Just saying the word brings an anticipation of calmness and escape from busyness! One of my favorite solitude places is the gazebo in our backyard–which I often refer to as my “Garden Room.” I love to spend a summer afternoon there with tea and scones–reading, napping, listening to the wind chimes or the assortment of birds, and just meditating and communing with God. After all, He has all the answers to my problems. I love to close my eyes for a few short minutes and focus on the things I’m hearing in those minutes. Phyllis, thank you for inspiring me to “schedule” these Special times to stay in touch with myself. I call it “putting myself back together.” God bless you for the many ways you encourage us and make our lives richer.

  2. “Be still and know that I am God.”
    “In quietness and trust is your strength.”
    Our Lord tries to bring this to our attention so many times, but we are far too busy sometimes to take the time to listen to Him…to gain that strength and nourishment that we so very much need and He so very much wants to lovingly give us!
    I am amazed at those that seem to thrive on constant activity. My soul and body need the stillness…to listen to the raindrops….the distant thunder perhaps…..the trees as they quiver in the wind…the birds….or to just quietly pray (not always talking to Him…..but also being still so I can listen to what He might be wanting to say to me)…… read His precious Word and to soak in those truths.
    Bless you, dear Phyllis.
    How precious you are.

  3. Thanks to all of you who have shared your places of solitude! It’s inspired me to return to a place I once used for the same reason. We have a lovely, white latticed pavillion where we grill and have had birthday parties, teddy bear picnics, etc., for our kids when they were younger.

    My husband set up our wonderful Pawley’s Island hammock there and I used to love to take a blanket and pillow out there to just “be” when our lives were so hectic and I worked full time. It was such an oasis for me! My family was so sweet to allow me that time and never interrupted my time of solitude.

    I haven’t done that in years, but I am inspired to recreate that setting because of this post and all your comments! Thanks!

  4. Thank you Phyllis and everyone for sharing such beautiful stories and inspirations.
    May love, peace and happiness be with you all!

  5. What a blessing it is to find time for solitude. Although I love to be close enough to the gulf to be quiet and calm on a screened porch there looking over the constantly moving sea grass and out to the waves and sky, here at home I find so much peace in watching the movement of leaves in trees near my windows. Even the shadows of moving leaves on my windows or on the floor without a sound. My times for solitude have increased because of a broken knee which prevents my driving. This Spring I have watched the development of leaves so carefully. Many of them remained small for their species for a while and some are still below normal. As I watch I pray that sufficient rain will come to grow more leaves on the tips of limbs. Last summer we had three different shades of green in leaves on the ends of branches as three successive periods of rain occurred. My grandfather who was born on the plains of Kansas taught me the joy of tree watching. Having come from a dry and windy place where they carried water from the river for their windbreak of Lombardy Poplars he considered every tree a living green miracle and so do I.

  6. I did just that yesterday ~ took a day off work and sat out on the swing on our porch for HOURS! Lovely fields all around our home in the country and the birds were the only company!

  7. When we moved from our home in the country twenty years ago, I so missed the quiet places to listen to nature, enjoy the sunsets in my prayer garden etc. that I knew I had to find some special place where I could reflect, read, craft or just be still and drown out the city noise. I managed to convert a small garden shed into my “Serenity Cottage”. It is my still room where I craft my potpourri, mix my essential oils, read a book or even take a nap and I feel the inner peace I require for good mental health. I also have a special made prayer bench outside on the slope overlooking the creek and small waterfall below or just lingering on the grape covered patio with soft music to soothe me during quiet moments. No matter how small, we all need to take time and create a place for such renewal.

  8. This post has encouraged me to take time for solitude. My mind seems always to be going strong, even in retirement. I know that it is an important aspect of one’s life. When in bed, I do decompress by reading for an hour or more. However, I think I need to start my day also with another short period of reflection and just being. Thank you all for reminding me.

    1. Jody…so good to know that I am not the only “girl” in retirement with a busy mind. Thank you for your message and thoughts.

  9. My husband bough me a shed to put out at the end of our farm pond, he added a bridge to cross the water, I call this tranquility, my go to for reading, writing and meditating and being gratefull to God for all I have. wild ducks nest here and it is so relaxing watch the little ducklings following momma around. lots of birds and dragonflies talk to me. Isn’t nature beautiful?

  10. I love my solitude time. No music, tv, phone or computer; just time with myself. It is so restorative for the soul. I use to tell my students to learn to spend time with themselves. I love sitting on my deck with a good book, but usually end up listening to nature and observing the birds, squirrels, occasional rabbits, and other small animals as I rock the hours away. Pure delight!

  11. The soul requires “down time” to cope with life’s hectic pace, especially in these times. Reading the posts of everyone has allowed me to share those lovely spaces and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all if we but look for it.

    Thank you.

  12. I always loved my quiet time. As a child I would sit in the corner of my stoop and have my nose in a book. Now as an adult I yearn for the quiet time i can relax and enjoy my reading materials.

  13. Solitude is a good thing!! I find mine on our backyard screened porch, in my rocking chair, watching the birds at the feeder with my trusty feline companion, Molly, at my feet. No lap top, nothing to read, no pad and pen to make a “to do” list . Just the sound of birds singing, the whisper of the breeze through the pines, and sometimes, the sounds of children playing off in the distance in our neighborhood. Since I’ve been retired, I’ve really enjoyed having time just to “be” and reflect and think!

  14. I take my solitude on our patio before anyone else is awake. Today, I not only hear the myriad of birds, but also the lovely sound of a sudden downpour. The Ribbon in My Journal is a comforting read, as are all of the sentiments from “kindred spirits” – those who also enjoy your words, Phyllis.

  15. Sitting on my swing on our deck at the cottage with coffee or raspberry iced tea and a pile of my favorite magazines, i.e. Victoria and Cottage Journal. I could do this for hours as we are in a quiet cove of our small lake. This is one of my happy places.

  16. Ah…solitude. I love sitting in the garden (or in our second-floor sunroom which overlooks the garden) just meditating on the beauty of nature and being grateful for life. In this time of so much negativity and fear, the garden nourishes my soul. “For the beauty of the earth…Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.”

  17. Solitude is vital for me and if I had a busy day with no time for me, I have to take a moment before bedtime to read or think.

  18. My dad used to love sitting on the back porch and watch the rain. I was the only family member he would let join him as we were like two peas in a pod and both enjoyed the quiet time together. My dad has passed but I still love to sit and watch the rain.

  19. I love my quiet time in the morning. Reading scripture and reflecting is the way I like to start the day. No matter what I encounter the rest of the day,I feel like I can handle it if I start my day with that quiet time.

  20. I take a cup of tea and a good book and go into my sitting room. My husband calls it “the nest”…it is upstairs on the second floor and the window overlooks a big tree…I can almost touch the branches. This is where I come for some quiet time. Sometimes, I just sit on the window seat and watch the glow of autumn leaves, the sparkle of the snow,and now, the much anticipated buds and blossoms. The for me is solitude.

  21. Your words and the readers’ comments focuses on what a tragic sense of loss our modern world had happened that is the gradual loss of solitude in childhood, and as adults the stillness to enjoy the quiet beauty of life.

  22. Your words and the readers’ comments focuses on what a tragic sense of loss our modern world had happened that is the gradual loss of solitude in childhood, and as adults the stillness to enjoy the quiet beauty of life.

  23. I echo all the sentiments. And, as Cynthia said, my soul craves solitude. Uninterrupted time to decompress, enjoy the quiet, and hear the sweet bird songs. A time apart.

  24. I have a favorite chair and a small table next to it where I can place my tea and book.

    I can see the ocean from that chair or in the winter the fire in the fireplace. Sometimes I just sit there. Peace.

    I can picture you with your grandparents under that tree. What a wonderful memory for you. They taught you love and…peace.

  25. I hear you. I love to sit and read a book with my little shih tzu by my side. That is solitude with unconditional love.

  26. This is such a timely post, Phyllis. In today’s world, solitude is greatly missed. I sometimes fear all of us spend so much time filled with “noise” of one kind or the other that we have forgotten how to be still. I too am making a concerted effort to find spots of solitude, time for prayer, reflection, and just to “be”….this beautiful spring weather gives me the perfect opportunity to sit in the garden, even if for just a few minutes, and have that solitude. I agree with you, it restores your soul.

  27. So true. We live in such a chaotic world. We need more peace and solitude in our life. My place is out on my covered patio. I love it there and can find rest for my soul.

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