Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The Value of Solitude
This is Orford Beach where I camped the weekend before last. It's a place of peace and quiet such as we rarely find these days, especially where I live with chainsaw-happy neighbors.
I love Orford. I took a walk on the pure white sand with just seagulls and foam-capped waves for company. Maria Island loomed before me, wrapped in its blue ocean scarf and sky beret. Last century this was a place of great misery and hardship. It still groans with history and convict ruins, but now the trials of those early men wear the decorations of time and forgetfulness. The graveyard is a place of interest, not dread. Isn't it odd that more than a hundred years after men suffered and died, resentful for being cut off from everything they knew and loved, I admire its beauty, treasuring that very isolation.
I wonder, in another century, will people look with new eyes on the things that most menace me and see value? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could develop that insight now and save ourselves the grief in between.