Solace and Solitude

Walking in silence

Sitting in silence

Bathing in silence

Letting it roll around my feet

My heart

Allowing silence to drift up from the leaf strewn path

Trickle into my legs

Wrap silken bonds around my head

Muffling noises

Settling voices

that would otherwise take me away from here

Listening to the fire crackle

Watch the rain slide down the glass

As I lay back in this bath

Basking in unadulterated silence

*My week-end, which feels like a month ago, was deeply refreshing. My husband dropped me into a cabin in the middle of a forest, a cocoon of silence and just myself for company.

It was the sort of place that is small, sparse but with luxury touches like the sunken spa bath which sat in a glass alcove surrounded by trees. The wood fire that I immediately lit (it’s still cold up in the hinterland off the coast) and the delicious food both in the restaurant and supplied to my room as a hamper.


Yet the most luxurious thing of all was the silence. The lack of wifi. The spacious breadth of an unplanned day, doing whatever I felt like. And enjoying my solitude.

Some people don’t like to be alone, but I love it. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy time with other people, I do – but spending time with myself is like spending time with my very best friend, and I make time for that. I think it’s important.

It’s also nice that I don’t have to argue about what to do, or how to spend the time -pleasing oneself is a very relaxing pastime.

I hiked down to the bottom of the waterfall in the adjacent national park. I rested sore muscles in the bubbling spa bath. I read a really good book snuggled under a soft blanket by the fire. Then I went hiking again, and then I stoked the fire, and then I drank some tea, or ate, all very simple stuff.

And time unravelled slowly and my head became quiet to match my surroundings – it was beautiful

Silence, it’s the cheapest thing in the world but so difficult to find. Oh, I can sit in a quiet room and in fact my house is pretty quiet all day. But the sort of silence that comes from having absolutely nothing to do, not even a pot plant to water or a bench to tidy, no messages to answer, or a companion to ask what they would like for dinner.

It’s the sort of silence that comes from having no mental to do list, no attachment to outcome, and no distractions from the glorious expanse of unburdened moment after moment after moment.

That sort of silence is truly golden. And I determined to try and carry some home with me.

Like a delicate snowflake, once taken out of its environment, it melted in transit. But the memory is a treasure that can’t be stolen.

And so I wrote a poem – it isn’t great, granted but it’s something to remind me if I ever look back – of what it was like to be a truly free human for a day or two.

Some photos taken during my hikes

41 thoughts on “Solace and Solitude

    • Dear Kate,

      I have perused your excellent post here and the comments of your readers. I concur with Pooja. There is a fair amount of maturity of thoughts in your post. Thank you for your commendable efforts in conveying your journey regarding solace and solitude that you have experienced in the forest where your husband dropped you into a cabin.

      I shall resonate with the spirit of the forest where you were and with the tenet of your post entitled “Solace and Solitude” as follows:

      Factories don’t make oxygen. Trees do. Respect nature.

      This photo is also featured in my post entitled “The Quotation Fallacy“, which you can easily locate from the Home page of my blog.

      I love photos featuring magnificent trees full of character, and I often wonder what species of trees they belong to, and marvel at their grandeur as they gradually reach their majestic statures in the fullness of time.

      Do you have some favourite tree species and/or cultivars?

      Happy mid-September to you and Pooja!

      Yours sincerely,

  1. Silence really IS golden. I’m so glad you were able to get that “me time” and loved hearing about you resting, it sounds wonderful. Hooray for thoughtful husband’s who know just what we need xx

  2. Wow, I’ve always wanted to do this but never have, I did do a 10 day silent meditation retreat but there were others around all the time so whilst the silence was great it wasn’t quite the solitude I was looking for, your description sounds amazing though & the poem is beautiful.

    I spend a few hours each day alone but until I read this post I hadn’t made the connection that being alone with a to do list is very different from being alone with silence, nature and self care being the only things on the menu!

    • I wrote a post a long time ago about the silent “to do list”. It is our inner should voice and springs from our environment – I should …clean the windows, fold the laundry, clear my wardrobe, clean the car, water the pot plants, the silent to do list is endless and loud. Taking ourselves out of our environment and inserting our selves into a natural simple one instantly quietens this voice of responsibility and is deeply calming.

      Of course it is all here when I get back, but just taking time out and being in nature is refreshing enough that I have struck off many of the items on my silent to do list as well this week.

      My interest in minimalism springs from trying to reduce the items that speak loudly to me and need caring for – it’s helped a lot.

      Thanks for reading 😊

  3. What a wonderful experience of peaceful solitude, Kate. It sounds like exactly what you needed, and I’m so glad you could have this time of golden silence to yourself. It sounds idyllic. It’s something I’ve never thought of doing or having, not there’s any chance of that even if I wanted to, so it was extra special to experience this through your eyes. The photos of glorious nature and our vitally-needed trees are wonderful, too. Thanks for sharing them. Xx 🦢💕

  4. Thanks so very much for sharing your special moment much appreciated beautiful poem and photos. A nice reminder for me to just be in real silence sometimes. Thanks again you are magic

  5. It’s a post that gave me a sense of peace. I felt deeply enlightened after reading this and looking at the pics. Your posts are always so soothing , Katie.

    See you around my friend.

  6. Whoa, that’s mighty brave of you to spend an entire weekend alone in the forest. I mean, this is something I’ll definitely do to get some peace and quiet, but there is a certain fear involved when alone in the elements at night, no?

    I live right beside a busy street, so I could some peace and quiet from time to time. Should schedule something soon. Anyway, thanks for sharing your wonderful trip!

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