God is alone, -- but the devil, he is far from alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.
Clearly, time spent with only ourselves for earthly comfort is time well spent. Being physically alone is not the only factor here. To truly be alone we need to turn off all of our wonderful devices that talk to us in place of other humans. Sometimes I purposely leave my cell phone at home when I go somewhere, just so I can feel the disconnection. And I secretly love it when the power goes out, because of the way it cuts us off from our electronic world and gives us a little time to just breath in the solitude of it. Plus it makes me even more grateful for electricity and all my wonderful toys when the power comes back on. This is one reason we take our kids camping every year. There is nothing that can compare with sitting around a campfire in the fading light with nothing but nature all around you. Being outside, alone, is one of the most wonderful things in this world. Sometimes when I was a kid and I got stressed out I would go out to the backyard and climb a tree and just sit. Try it sometime, it's a singular experience.
Solitude is not about being completely alone. Just as the reverse is true, being in a large group of people does not mean that you are well-companioned. It is all complexly intertwined. I have felt utterly alone in a room full of people who I am familiar with. On the reverse I have been physically alone and felt more loved and accepted than at any other time.
Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.
I often find my solitude simply by following my heart and just being who I am. That of course, has taken years of figuring out exactly who I am, but I have a fair idea by this point. When my children are playing quietly and I have a great book to read, I find solitude. When I get the chance to work out in the yard raking leaves, or spreading wood chips, I relish in the solitude of physical labor out in the beauty of nature. I'm really not too much of an outdoorsy girl, but I want to be. I decided that the only reason I am not out there more is that for ten years I have had one or more little people who I cannot and should not leave unattended for long periods of time. I am greatly looking forward to the time that is fast approaching when all my children will be able to accompany me on long hikes. (oh, and I need to get into shape for those long hikes too:)) In the meantime I grab little moments of solitude.
We can't all go live by the side of a pond for two years, but I am quite sure that with a little effort each of us can find moments of solitude wherever we are.