Solitude is a rare gift these days, so rare that when it does find me, it feels like coming home. My guard drops, I do not have to spend energy keeping the lighthouse going with its warning beam of incoming comments, there is no need to prepare for defense or defiance, here I can poke my head out of my shell and inhale the safe moments.
Sometimes I just bask in it and allow my boundaries to melt and almost always, I turn to my notebook to (hopefully) meet my muse, whose name is apparently, Storey, with an “e.” Just because.
Come on out, Storey, I called, as I stood on the steps of the old wooden porch, now rotting from an overfill of rain and whispered tales among women, for only women know the way to this cabin in the woods, only certain, special women, the women who know how to be alone and lonely at the same time and able to follow the overgrown path through the deep forests of themselves to rest here.
I have been away for a long time, among people not of my tribe. It is difficult to get away. Such is the nature of self-imposed obligation, the necessity of acquiring food and the occasional relationship. But it is my cabin still and Storey is still inside, I can tell by the scent of bergamot and lavender that she is still here, still whole and perhaps…wiser.
She is quieter too, unless I have become so accustomed to the noise of the universe that the sound of silence has become foreign to my ears. That will change now that I am here, I have no doubt, and the transformation, as always, will be sweet and delicious, like slipping into a cool pond on a hot day, there will be relief all around. It is always easy to believe my Storey is gone and sometimes I am afraid to come here and look for her but when the path opens itself to me, I can only slip in-between the rose bushes and head to the only place I have ever called home.
Storey is within these walls of solitude, she slips between the ash and the elm trees, she drinks from the pond, the same pond that cradles the birchbark canoe that carried her here. Storey is in the sun, the fox at the doorstep, the Swallowtail sipping breakfast at the melon vine.
I have come home to Storey so she can revive me on my journey of becoming the woman I want to be, a combination wise crone and warrior doing battle and offering encouragement not to the evils without but to the wars within, against the monsters birthed long ago who would destroy all that is good and worthwhile within myself.
I know Storey is here because I feel her in my own warmth, the place of desire and birth and fulfillment, powerful and brief. I feel her move inside me when I least expect and most need her, stirring in recognition that I have come home to her loving embrace.