Solitude seems like such a simple thing, but it’s surely hard to come by. It’s becoming nigh impossible to have a moment alone with just our own thoughts. A moment to think, to dream, to reflect.
Any number of things beckon to us and steal what free time we have. Our ever-present devices demand our attention. Notifications, texts, emails, instant messages, social media, news, podcasts. Oh, and occasionally the device will even ring when an actual phone call comes through! Some of us carry not one, but two phones- our own phone and our work phone. Everyone always seems to be looking down; few are looking up.
And, the irony is not lost on me that anyone reading this is giving up their own solitude to do so. Thank you for spending a few minutes with me.
The last couple of years have been full of stress. And, since the stress appears to be unlikely to change, I’ve been pondering what changes I need to make, to have a little more solitude and a little less input from The Entire World All The Time.
For me, photography is one path to moments of solitude. When I have my camera in hand, I’m truly focused on just one thing- trying to capture what my heart sees through the lens. I think that’s one of the reasons it gives me so much joy. It provides much needed downtime and dedicated focus that is often missing in this multitasking world we live in.
The photo is Trout Lake in the Uncompahgre National Forest. It rests at an elevation of just over 9,700 feet. Framing the lake is Sheep Mountain on the right and Vermillion Peak on the left. Vermillion Peak is the tallest in the photo at nearly 14,000 feet tall.
When we arrived, the mountains were shrouded in clouds, and the winds brought a brisk chill to the air. We stepped out of the truck, then immediately reached back in for sweatshirts and jackets! The Sheps were impatient, ready to GO! One of them ran to the lake, skirting the edge of the cold water, while the other ran right into the water, ankle deep, to check it all out. It was a laugh out loud moment! How two dogs can be so bonded and yet so different is amazing to me. Perhaps that is another thought to ponder in another moment of solitude- we don’t have to be the same in order to be friends.
I sat cross legged in the loose rocks on the shoreline, right at the water’s edge, taking photos, rather enjoying the cool wind on my face. All was quiet save for the sound of the wind and the soft sounds of the water lapping the shore. The beauty of creation captured my heart.
A few quiet, stolen moments with my Creator.
Sitting there at the edge of the water caused me to ponder all the times Scripture states that Jesus would go to a solitary place by himself to pray. My heart now more fully understands why.
The cool winds increased and began kicking up the water a little bit, so that it was now lapping against the edge of my boots. I continued to sit. Those same cool winds also began to clear some of the clouds so the Colorado blue sky could peek through.
It was time well spent, to sit on the water’s edge, alone with my own thoughts, waiting for the clouds to clear.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”– David. Psalm 62:1-2 (ESV)