June 1, 2012

Dreams of a Solitary Nature


While the laundry does itself, wiping out its own stains,

the bathrooms clean themselves,

the breakfast dishes stack themselves like in an old Disney cartoon,

the counter wiped by an enchanted cloth in soapy, circular motions,

She sits and looks out the window at the hump-backed bear shaped mountain.

While the after-school snack bakes itself, scattered papers tidy up

and fall neatly into files,

groceries appear in the cupboards and fridge,

supper prepares itself, simmering savoury flavours on the stovetop,

She re-reads a favourite novel and sips tea from a thin china cup.

While the children answer their own questions and solve their own story problems, mediate

their own arguments and nag themselves to clean their rooms,

She turns the music up and dances around the livingroom, singing at the top of her voice.

While her husband keeps his thoughts about his day to himself and offers himself one or two wise, comforting
remarks, knows he needs to go for a walk and suggests they both go...

She puts on her shoes and heads out the door

Where day has put itself away and the dusk doesn't need to talk.


I thought of this poem this morning. I wrote it and have posted it before, a couple of years ago, but I decided it was worth posting again. I had been wondering if I would have time to post anything on my blog today. I had dropped off my car for an oil change at the local garage and was walking home when I ran into a friend. We talked for several minutes and then she offered me a ride. I declined and found myself saying, "This walk may be the only solitude I get today."
Last week my husband was home sick, this week our youngest daughter has been down with the flu. Today is graduation day for our second eldest, so we are ironing clothes and a friend of his is coming over soon to style his hair. This weekend is going to be a full one and next week my husband is on holiday, which I am looking forward to. We generally get lots of projects done around the house and our youngest loves it when her dad walks her to school in the mornings. Solitude, however will be rare and it hit me this morning that in two weeks the older kids will be out of school for the summer. 
I do enjoy having my family around me and I thoroughly enjoy my work with people in the community, but every busy person needs time to themselves to reflect and regroup. I predict some long, solitary runs and bike rides for myself in the coming weeks, and plenty of going to bed early with a book.  
My daughter took the photo of the columbine in our garden. She finds solitude behind the lens of a camera.


  1. The name of the plant is quite poetic also. Columbine, from the Latin for dove. And Aquilegia, of the Eagle.

    I wonder is there a planting of them on Iona.

    And HA, what will you do when he retires and you both have to live next each other for hours on end. Think of this as a prep' for those days.

  2. Thanks for the background on the Columbine. I once had an exchange student visit and her last name was Colombe meaning 'dove' as well. She was a gentle soul, actually.

    You know what they say about retired husbands? 'Half as much money and twice as much husband' :)

  3. Yeah well I've an advantage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba You'd be hard pressed to survive and NOT know him. But it the shape of the flower that gives the name.

  4. Oh Rebecca I HEAR YOU and GET YOU in this post! I so longed for school and its craziness to be over...yet NOW, I am mourning the loss of my solitude as well.

    WONDERFUL poem! So true so true!!

    Now, I hope your family was WELL and could enjoy the weekend's graduation festivities!

  5. Thanks Jill. I'm very glad you related to the poem.
    My youngest was sad to miss the graduation ceremony, but her eldest brother stayed home with her. The rest of us were happy and proud to be there, though. I hope you can find a few quiet moments on you deck or in your garden!

  6. It's wonderful to have family surround us. But we all need a little solitude. It is the time we we rejuvenate ourselves.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!