Finding Solitude within
as opposed to running away to the mountains
The mountains have always given me serenity and a very different sense of connection. I must admit that it wasn’t always that way. In fact, all my life I can classify myself as a “city boy” who never really connected with nature. I guess I was hardly exposed while growing up and thus it never had an impact on me.
Something shifted 10 years ago on an official trip to a place which is widely acknlowledged as “heaven on earth” ( New Zealand) and I felt a very new connection with nature ( especially the mountains). Ever since then, the lure of the mountains have always been seducing for me ! I managed to go at least twice back there ( once more to NZ and 0nce to Switzerland) and managed to seriously connect with those gorgeous mountains !
The thing is, I haven’t been to the mountains for a few years now. Does that mean solitude will remain missing till I find my way back to them ? And because my initiation happened in one of the gorgeous locales on earth, going to “any mountain” close to my domicile city ( Mumbai) just does not cut it in my mind. To come close to that experience, I would have to go to the ultimate destination-The Himalayas and that needs a different level of commitment in my mind !
So, rather than thinking how I can get back, this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson made me rethink about what I was seeking in the first place !
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
I got it ! Being in the mountains at that time in life seeded what was always within me. It was sleeping but it was within me. I realised when I read this that to awaken it again, I need not recreate the “physical conditions” ( go to the mountains) but, the mental conditions and I would always be in the mountains ! That’s what my daily practice of meditation is giving me ! :-)