There are many pleasures in living alone, and there are some ... what's the word? Not challenges, though it can be challenging to do everything myself (or pay someone to do it, not easy on my wobbly income). It's not loneliness, though there is a measure of that. Solitude becomes isolation much more easily in this tech-driven phone-phobic world. No, what I mean is a sort of gap, a feeling of incompleteness when moments come that beg to be shared. Like yesterday.
After a long period of unseasonal heat waves and parching drought, this weekend brought rain, real rain, enough to quench the thirsty earth and my thirsty spirit. Late yesterday afternoon, the sun broke through in the west, low above the horizon under dark clouds. Just as I was thinking "there will be a good rainbow, I'll bet," the skies OPENED with torrential rain, the heaviest all weekend, the heaviest in a long time. I stood on my front porch facing the east, watching for the rainbow, which did appear, but the real show was the rain itself. A downpour of rain illuminated by bright sun, a curtain of silver glitter lit as high as I could see and falling in silver all the way down. It went on and on, a time out of time as I stood on the porch with the same open-mouthed awe of watching fireworks. It was in fact like the last huge fusillade of beauty at the end of a fireworks show, a spectacular rain finale to close the lovely wet weekend. When the rain stopped and the rainbow faded away, I sighed with contentment. Or ... maybe that sigh wasn't about contentment. No, it was longing to have shared that joy with someone else.
Sharing experiences is part of the richness of life, and I'm fortunate to have shared many with people who are or were dear to me. For the last few years, not so much. Yesterday I was feeling this as a loss, a gap, a problem. Like many others, I've gotten in the habit of posting to Facebook, and I almost went there to say "Hey, I just saw the most amazing thing!" But I stopped and asked myself what that would accomplish, really. People I like and people who like me would "like" my post, maybe see it in their mind's eye, be happy for me. But the experience itself wouldn't, couldn't, be shared in that way.
Following this thought-thread, I imagined what it would have been like to have someone there on the porch with me, watching the silver glitter fall. I thought of other spectacular sky shows I've been privileged to see: eclipses of sun and moon, meteor showers, lightning storms, comets, double and triple rainbows, clouds clouds clouds ... lifting me into joy, deepening me into gratitude. Some such moments were shared with others or one other, but my most vivid soul-memories are of being alone. Alone with the beauty, alone with the awe, one-on-one with the power. Sharing it with someone else would be a different experience -- not better or worse, just different. And yes, I miss that sometimes. But right now it's good to remember the richness that comes from giving all my attention, all the yearning wonder of my being, to the moment itself.
Here are a few recent moments. It's good to share them with you!
(Click to enlarge.)