The valley is umber and golden and red below me, and the poplar that quivered all summer in turns silver and green has shaken it’s leaves to the ground. Crows call, squirrels churl, and the wind pulls at the house. It’s a familiar sound: the sound of the colder months here on this hill that I call home. It will be our fifth winter here and I know now the things I imagined I would when we first moved: where to find the brightest leaves for pressing; the softest moss among quarts in the woods; mushrooms under brambles; leathery skinned, fragrant and sweet apples.
Today I am inside and alone. In other rooms the floors gleam in the sunlight. In mine, the windows are backlit with the gold-orange of the trees, and the loudest clatter is my own fingers on the keyboard, my own breath. I soak up these solitary times when I can become reacquainted with the threads of narrative in my book, make progress, print drafts, scribble notes. It’s so very rare though, for me to be solitary, or even alone for more than an hour.
I imagine sometimes, dreamily, a little writing hut with months to spare. Time elastic and mine. But then I wonder if my mind would go soft; if I’d lack the discipline to persevere in the circle of my own circumscribed thoughts for so long. Self inflicted deadlines languish the longest, this I know. Similarly quiet rings the loudest in the absence of my small boys who fill the house with ruckus laughter; with the crashing of vehicles into one another; with wailing, with stomping feet, with squeals, with words.
When are you alone? What is the quiet like for you? What do you do that time, with only you? What are you like then?