After some hot days that dried the soil out completely we are now plunged into a cold snap. It is actually deluging down hail as I write and a very cold night is forecast. This is not great weather either for plants or folk. I tried planting a few tomatoes but they have been wiped out. The strawberries are surviving, though - valiant little things! I thought I had finished lighting fires, but no. Not difficult to imagine this house as an ark. Perhaps Tara and I shall float away in the flood and end up on Ararat.

Some people are puzzled by my enjoyment of solitude. I was an only child - and still am. An oddity, perhaps. By rights I should be lonely and depressed, apparently. Perhaps I missed something or forgot the script. Living alone can also seem like a great privilege, especially when one inhabits a little paradise tucked away in the middle of nowhere. Strange how humans so often can't live apart yet can't get on together - perhaps just two sides of one coin.

Still, I am not completely cut off. Visitors come and go and when they come we have a good time. It is good to have something to offer - a break from their business as usual. Many people live in my heart even though physically they are scattered all over the world.

Then most weeks I go, on Friday mornings, to Oasis about 14 kilometres away, and give a service and short teaching - such lovely neighbours to have.

And nowadays, with the internet, one is never really cut off. The world's news is eventful, sometimes alarming, rarely dull.

But mostly it is just Tara and I getting on with our completely different yet intersecting lives. She is mostly nocturnal so our best meetings tend to be first and last thing in the day. The midday hours she slumbers.

Mornings I often work on one or other of a number of writing projects. In the afternoon, weather permitting, physical activity takes over. It's a healthy balance.

Time passes and one wonders where it has gone. One settles into some degree of routine, but no two days are exactly alike. When you live here the changing weather makes a lot of difference. It will probably warm up again next week.

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Replies to This Discussion

You appear to be enjoying the life of a hermit. I believe to be happy with yourself is very important. It's hard to enjoy others if you can't enjoy your own company.

Thank you, Andrew. "Enjoying one's own company" is a strange expression, isn't it? Poetic in a way. I'm not sure that being happy by oneself is quite the same thing as being happy with oneself. I am certainly happy to be living in my present circumstances, with the trees and the flowers, the weather and the seasons. I have always felt celestial influences close at hand and in a place such as this such a sense becomes even more tangible.

It sounds very lovely. Learning to enjoy one's own company is a blessing. I think it's also a big part of being a writer.


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