The above picture, taken back in the mists of time, is of me with our farm dog Laddie. He was my best friend and confidant.
Some might think being raised as an only child on a small farm might be a lonely life, but I can never remember being lonely as a child. In addition to a family top heavy with adults and a succession of farm dogs, I had horses, cattle and cats to cast into leading roles in my fantasies. I lived in a world of wonder and romance. I could go anywhere and do anything on that quarter section farm. Mostly I was a cowgirl in the Wild West, but I could in turn be a princess in a castle, a detective along the lines of Nancy Drew, or a pioneer. Sometimes I would act out roles from my favourite books and other times I would create my own.
I don’t think too many people would feel comfortable today with that degree of aloneness. I don’t think I would be comfortable myself. We are so used to constant stimulation, constant contact with other people and a steady barrage of information.
I think occasionally we need to retreat to that aloneness though, just to reacquaint ourselves with- ourselves. You can call it meditation, or taking a retreat, or just getting away from it all, but I think it’s a necessary action to keep us from forgetting just who we are.