This almost never happens anymore. I dearly love my family of five (Chris, me, Hannah, Ethan, and Josh), but oh it does feed me to have the house to myself. It is a rare occurrence these days. With Hannah home from college, Ethan on summer break, and Josh home from everything while we patiently allow his ear time to heal and recover. I am so grateful that we made the six week mark without a cold (the goal is the eight-week mark). I rejoice each and everyday without sickness in this house. Another day allowed Josh for recovery from his tympanoplasty. A gift, a blessing, a sigh of thanks. But never a moment alone.
Early this morning, however, Hannah and Ethan left for “the lake” and my dad’s house, to see it one last time before it is sold on the 29th; to see this place that was so much a part of their youth. And I returned from teaching a Yin/Restorative Yoga class to find that Chris had taken Josh out and about. We are still avoiding parks with playgrounds and opting for parks to just ride tricycles and run (Josh now can distinguish between the two and is wondering when he gets to return to a park with a playground). I am assuming that is where Chris and Josh are now; at a playground-less park. Or perhaps milling up and down Grand Avenue. Another favorite activity for the two.
Being alone in the house feeds my soul. There are two core parts of my inner being that are in seemingly direct conflict with one another. There is the part of me that grew up watching The Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough, as well as The Waltons–longing so intently for a large family someday. And then there is the part of me that loved watching Grizzly Adams and that read and re-read Walden and My Side of the Mountain when I was younger, as well as other “survivalist” literature, embracing the stillness offered by solitude. Yoga is the union of opposites. It helps us acknowledge that at any given moment, a complex web of polarity exists within us, pulling us in opposite directions. When we can make peace with the seeming conflict, then we can often find an opening for our soul to sit right down in between the two poles, finding spaciousness and delight. Just as one might place his or her bottom down in the space between one’s two legs in Cow-faced pose (gomukhasana).
I will sit and enjoy this solitude, knowing it feeds me so much precisely because of the richness of family that daily touches my life.
(*This posts photography is from Hannah–she’s returned from Japan once again!)