When I was child, during summers we used to sleep on the terrace looking up at the star-filled sky. I remember even when everyone at the terrace was fast asleep, I kept staring at the sky. I had my own favourite stars. I conversed long in silence with that unknown and unidentified world.
I still don’t know why I did that or what compelled me to do that when everyone around me was in their dream world of sound sleep. Was it my solitude? Those silent conversations were a regular one. Even while playing with my friends I would suddenly slip into some silent stare into some other unknown world. Was it fascinating me? Be it the birds or a cloud it took me with them into the world of the unknown and these encounters were the most mystic but enjoyable hours of my day. Then when a friend or parents would call, I would come out, as if from a dream and join them. What was that silence and solitude all about, I keep thinking about it even today.
Now 50 years into this world I still seek some answers. Somewhere I read, its best to keep rephrasing your questions to get an answers and I go on. In fact rephrasing the questions I often wonder what is solitude? As Dallas Willard puts it, solitude and its accompanying discipline i.e, Silence are absolutely central to the spiritual growth. I am nowhere spiritual so can I ever term it as my solitude.
I am a loner but I am never alone. Loneliness is frightening and I enjoy my self-claimed solitude though I never know where it is all directing me to. Why that piece of my life fills me with abundant energy or how those slips into the unknown vastness lets me fly in ecstasy. As they say, Is solitude being towards God? I do not know, for those slips take me to a world unknown, to be with something I know not. Who is my God, I do not know. But I still get slipped into it, staring, confused and amused, I know only that and it gives me all the life that I have.