September 2, 2006
A JOYFUL SOLITUDE
By Jim Kittelberger
Stooping over, pulling weeds, discussing the merits and dimensions of rocks, moving plants from front to back, left to right, removing or planting, speaking in monosyllables and smiling halfway through a comment knowing the end before it arrives, sweating and wiping our faces with dirty hands causing dirty mud smears across our eyes and then laughing hysterically as if bob hope had told his greatest joke at our impersonations of raccoons, alone together in a world we have created, a world of solitude and togetherness, our world of choice.
Sitting together in our beloved Buick, dirty and happy at a local drive-in pondering the immense nothing healthy menus hanging from the side of the building discussing the five years the cholesterol is going to take away from us but ordering it anyway, discussing the choices and joys of supper that evening, a supper that might be served at five, six, seven or eight, whenever it seemed right in our empty nested world of choice.
The joyful solitude of our world is not the solitude of the hermit hiding in a cave, but the solitude of a world created of elements of our characters that we are familiar with as we are with each other, the familiarity that has endured and causes us peace and happiness, a world created of familiar humanity towards each other, of a serenity of souls comfortable alone together with our thoughts and each other in our secret garden of peace.