To be alone away from the frantic hassle of the day gives peace to the soul and opens the way for our thoughts to wander where they may. There is a major difference between being alone and loneliness, but both are a major aspect of living.
To be alone and comfortable within ones own person is a goal that is achieved by few. It is the crowning mark of maturity of a life well lived. You take joy in the present because you know this time will never come again and the future is yet to be.
When you reach a certain age and look back with pleasure at the choices you have made the past becomes brief moments to be treasured. Then you move on to a new existence without those that have enriched your life. We hope we'll meet them again in another life yet maybe our pragmatic soul knows this will never happen. But as long as we're alive they will not be forgotten.
Loneliness is a different aspect and few escape the desolation of seeking without finding a place to be oneself without creating a shield for protection against the buffets of the unknown. You walk the friendless streets and are lost in the crowd where you are not recognized by the passing parade. You climb the hill into the night with sturdy steps knowing that when you reach the top you have a choice to either look back from wench you can or down into the valley of the future. The choice is always yours to decide where you want to live when you're alone in the night.
The photo for this piece is from a collection by Charlene Perkins and used with her permission. She achieved an honorable mention in the Nash Black photography awards for her shot a Great Blue Herons taking flight.