I had no idea how much I would enjoy being home alone for hours and hours during my sabbatical. Usually, I prefer to be home with someone or out working or with other people. Before Seth and I were married, and I actually lived in this condo by myself, I was almost never here because I could not stand to be alone for too long. I was afraid of my own thoughts and was prone to feeling a little anxious if I was home alone for more than a couple of hours without at least talking to someone.
Maybe it’s the almost seven years of working in a windowless office with lots of (wonderful) people, going to meetings, leading classes and groups and being a pastor at a large congregation that has lots of (great) people that has left me craving time alone. Maybe it is the almost five years of sharing a home with my loving husband and the over two years of having a child that has left me longing to be in my own home by myself. Actually, it is probably the combination of these things.
I love quietly enjoying the sunlight and fresh breezes. I enjoy gazing out the window at the beautiful St. Croix River and the buzz of downtown Stillwater in the summer. I am grateful to be surrounded by color, the sounds of the world around me and the comforts of home. Having time in my sabbatical to be home alone is a wonderful gift. I can hear myself breathe and think. I have uninterrupted time to listen for inspiration and ideas. I have space to write and read, plan and dream.
Most delightfully, I am finding a sense of joy in being alone with myself and my thoughts. I am no longer afraid of myself and what I will find within in the still moments of rest and reflection. In his classic book, Sabbath, Wayne Muller writes that Sabbath rest has a way of unclogging our souls and allowing us to find a deep inner peace. He is right; that is what I am finding in these moments of being home alone.