Even as young as four years of age, I remember the solitude of being alone. I was no sage or monk at age four. It was somehow better than the chaos at home. It was more than escape – it became communion with quietness in a way that my creator could reveal himself to a small child. Just being was a real condition. It wasn’t until I began my journey in adulthood that I was able to know the difference between a human being and a human doing. The joy of climbing over the fence, walking down the cow pasture, through the woods to the creek, where I then balanced my steps across an abandoned bridge, with only I beams left; the skeleton of something past. From the bridge I would follow the meadow along the other side of the creek, with grass nearly as tall as me, to a hill. There was a hill, some glacier dump or something. It mounded out of meadow and was steep. I could climb it though. There were a pair of golden eagles nesting at the top of a dead tree. They had the vantage point of the valley up there! I would look out from the hill, on the side where it was open. The sun touched me like a comforting hand. I would listen to the cry of the eagle, the wind lullaby the valley below. The leaves and branches swayed with its rhythm.
Here I was at peace. Not simply the absence of alcoholism and dysfunction, the yelling, or being the lost child and having to do a man’s work at too early an age. It was a place to bang a tree with a stick to release my anger. A place to grow in wisdom and be myself to those who watched from the invisible world, through the imagination of a child. Jesus said to have the faith of a child, to have a child’s heart. I think at that age I was simply guarded, protected and comforted by my angels. I can sense now, that I wasn’t alone. I never felt lonely when I was alone.