I hear Solitude wandering the chill of December dawn. The holidays show me her light and lovely footprints and I can hear her occasional mournful psalm rising up when moonlight floods the valley. But these traces only make her absence harder.
It’s Solitude’s plaintive cry that haunts me most.
The change of the year does not echo in my inner chambers. The celebration of Christmas, even, did not garnish my daily bread. What day is not a renewal? Where does the death and resurrection not eternally recur? The tribes gather in annual celebration of that which they normally ignore and trample.
There’s not much work for me these last few weeks of the year. Most of my clients have ebbed because they, too, are service-oriented. The email tides never carry much as the wheel completes its turn. That’s a footprint of Solitude.
The continual calls of family and friends easily fill the void. There are many relationships to renew and underscore, but there is something empty in the tribes’ gossiping and profuse spending. I long to sit companionably with a loved one in silence, toasting the falling sun, but that seems a grave offense to decorum. Another footprint of Solitude.
But it is Solitude’s plaintive cry that moves my heart. Listen to her, do you not hear it? Her nimble and lithe form of the Muse sorrows as my discarded pastels and canvases. The partial poetry in that notebook hiding in the drawer weeps. The whirlwind of festivity drapes my meditations with fatigue.
I will resent her after she comes, of course. That is the way of wicked lovers. I will remember the warmth of hearth and reach out to gather my tribe into my chest when Solitude overstays her welcome. When she becomes bitter, her form tumbles into Loneliness – a most wicked, taunting, worldly shade.
But for now, as any addict of the dark and lonely hours might tell you, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.