One of the things I've been thinking about out here is the difference between loneliness and alone-ness. I often think of friends and family or comfortable chairs or warm shelters, or home, and I miss them. And it makes me feel sad and lonely, at least momentarily. But the feeling passes.
But the aloneness I feel out here is a whole different animal. It's a feeling that permeates my existence out here. There is nothing in this world of nature I'm in and travelling through that cares about my existence. Neither positive nor negative. Whether I live or die, suffer or celebrate, this world has no response; it makes no judgements. One would have to create religion, I suppose, to feel otherwise.
But this aloneness doesn't make me feel sad at all. It just seems to heighten my alertness and awareness that I have only myself to rely on. There's nobody nearby who either cares about me or can help me besides myself, so I'd better act accordingly. Is there an element of fear? I think so, at least something close to fear.
Oddly (or maybe not oddly), this feeling also makes me value more the relationships I have with people. It makes me feel a tighter bond to my friends and family and more welcoming to strangers in my life. I guess I'm not cut out to be a hermit. Who'd have guessed??
So to anyone who's reading this, thanks for being a part of my life, and I hope we get to spend a lot more good times together.
Here's lookin at you...