• Jeanette Micallef

Great Solitude

This year has shown us very clearly what solitude looks like. That forced, physical aloneness has, in some cases, been transformed into a willing solitude, and for others into an abysmal depression. For many, a combination of both -- either one becoming the other, or peaks and valleys of both intermittently. My experience has definitely been a peaks and valleys experience.

Sometimes it's a "fake it, 'til you make it" scenario, and other times it's a journey to a space fathoms deep to do some serious and profound work. As I shift in my learning, it becomes less of the former and more of the latter. It is a journey that is singularly mine, and one I must walk alone. Not because I prefer being alone (though sometimes, I do), but because often serious work is only possible in great solitude. I know for me, this is especially true. If I am to hone my attention and focus, I require stillness, solitude, no distraction. I have always been this way.

I was reminded during my time in India, that each person walks their own path up the mountain. As they climb, others who began the journey with them may choose other branching paths, and some may stop altogether because they deem the road to difficult. Still others continue to climb, holding out for that summit experience -- that great peak. All these experiences are good, and appropriate, and valid...and are theirs.

Where can one be, other than where one is?

This is the point where the choosing comes in. Take the fork in the road, or strive for the summit? I am definitely not stopping. That's not even an option for this Capricorn. I have, this year, chosen to strive for the summit. My summit. I am getting older. Sometimes my body, my soul, my heart feel so broken I cannot know if I will have the strength to continue -- and the Universe grants me compassion. In this moment, I learn how to grant myself compassion. I cannot run the race without a horse. I cannot write with no pen. It is alright. I channel creative solutions.

There is more difficulty ahead. The higher the path goes, the fewer are my companions, the more treacherous is the climb, and perhaps the slower my go. I may see others sprinting ahead, bounding on dancer's toes, flitting across the landscape as though it were not there. I breathe a sigh and know, that too is not my path. My path is one foot in front of the other, sometimes clumsily, and sometimes assuredly -- either way, completely my own.

There will be judgements. There will be criticism. There will be disappointment. I cannot waiver.

Nothing is wrong. It only is.

I will keep walking. I will keep the company of others when it is afforded me, and I will be in solitude otherwise. I will treasure both in their times, and think deeply on the value of each. I will show gratitude for each, and hold love for all who have come before, all who are present, and all who are to come. These moments are more fleeting than in my younger years, and I am learning how to honor them, and then embrace what is next. I will take on my serious work, knowing that as it gets more serious, I may do so alone. I welcome the focus. I welcome the intensity. And I will welcome my fellow travelers as they accompany me on parts of my path.

We are born alone, and we will die alone. The path in between these points can be peppered with friends and loved ones, but in the end, each path is a solitary one.

Much love and thanks to you, and the company you are and have been on my path.

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