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April 14, 2012

MARTINO: Solitude may be more rewarding than the harvest

‘Mother of All Morels’ contest set to begin on Monday

(Continued)

For most of us, we become intent on making sure our companions are comfortable and encounter success. When alone, there are no distractions. The only comments we hear are those from inside our own head.

True solitude has become a lost art in this day of ultra-connectedness. Are we ever really alone with the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, email and text messaging?

When it comes to solitude, you don’t have to be a monk to find it or a hermit to enjoy it. It’s closer and easier to find than you think. Although I don’t necessarily regret the beauty of our high-tech global community, I do think there is a healthy need to step back from it occasionally.

Early one morning last weekend, I decided to spend a few short hours wading our Wildcat Creek. For once, the purpose wasn’t so much to catch fish, but rather to enjoy solitude. The sun had barely cleared the horizon when I slipped on my waders. The sweet smell of new spring growth hung heavy in the damp air. Stepping off the bank I immediately felt the cool water as the current swirled around my legs. The crisp morning breeze felt invigorating. The call of a kingfisher and other songbirds provided a natural symphony. Generally speaking, it felt good to be alive.

When alone, we seem to be more aware of small things normally overlooked. You notice the textures of the bottom, moss growing on rocks and shadows that scurry from your quiet approach. You move slower and more deliberate and your thoughts start to do the same. With no distractions you begin dissecting those problems that can make life such a tedious proposition. You soon find yourself calmer and calculated with a new understanding that those things that seemed so insurmountable are for the most part trivial.

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