There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over any encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
I am reading in bed with Maya, my Yorkie, by my side. It’s past the time I would normally set my book aside, but I dozed off earlier in the evening, unable to fight the weariness that fell upon me late in the afternoon.
That is what happens when one begins the day before three in the morning. I woke too early this morning and, unable to return to sleep, accepted the gift of an extended morning. It happens, from time to time, and I enjoy the extra morning hours; the loss of sleep catches up later in the day, though.
Suddenly, there is a noise. Maya stands on the bed next to me and barks at the closed bedroom door. She turns, hackles up, looks at me wide-eyed, then jumps down off the bed, and goes toward the door. Forced to stop, she spins in a circle. Let me at ‘em, her manner says. Who ‘em is, I can’t imagine since Gerry is hundreds of miles away on a fishing boat.
With adrenaline pumping, I open the bedroom door. Maya races out in front of me toward the door that leads to the laundry room, which, in turn, leads to the door that opens into the garage. I think she thinks that Gerry is home. Is he?
But no, there is no further noise from the garage, and a quick look reveals no Gerry (nor anyone else, thank goodness). We turn and go into the TV room to see if anything is amiss in there, and there I see a fallen picture frame—the frame on the couch and the glass and photo on the floor next to it. What in the world? What made this fall from the shelf above the sofa?
I put on my brave face.
“It’s just a picture that’s fallen,” I reassure Maya (and myself) as I gather the pieces and put them in the side table. “We’ll tend to this tomorrow. “
We return to the bedroom and settle in, cozy and safe, on our corner of the king-sized bed. Maya falls quickly and easily back to sleep, and I pick up my book and return to where I left off.