Most people think of being alone as a bad thing. I was one of those people. I use the word “was” because Easton Mountain can be a great teacher. The lesson I have learned is that it can be beautiful to be alone and to be alone does not mean being lonely. It has been said that loneliness is the poverty of self and that solitude is the richness of self. I enjoy the quiet solitude of my cozy cabin. I first began to understand what it was to meditate by spending time alone in my room with the window open watching the forest with the same intensity I previously used to watch TV. There is nothing more beautiful then the beginning of rain as drop after dewy drop syncopates on green leaves. The quieter you become the more you can hear. When I am not in my cabin I think of how I used to go to the parks of the various big cities I have lived in to be alone but never quite achieved it. Here I can sit in silence... complete silence on one of Easton's many seats of solitude. There is one by the upper pond where I can marvel in the wonders of nature, seeing a beaver slip across the surface of the water, watch a squadron of geese noisily descend for a splash landing, or simply observe the hum of a honeybee collecting nectar. There is another seat in the small burial ground of the Herrington family who were the former owners of this great land. It is a place of quiet reflection for me... usually about the men I have known who exist now only as memories in this world. My favorite seat is in the garden... it gently rocks. While gazing at flowers one day I wondered if blooms of the same species who were different in color had a unique odor. So, I spent that entire afternoon literally smelling the roses. I learned that, yes, there are variations in their scents- but more importantly I learned to embrace solitude. Solitude is a good thing. It seems counter intuitive but in fact I avoid loneliness by embracing solitude. It is a gift I can give to myself. I find that if I can't receive myself as a gift then how will I ever receive another man as a gift. Easton Mountain and the quiet solitude it can provide is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Thank you universe.