In the book Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes—A Year Alone in the Patagonia Wilderness, which I’m currently reading, Robert Kull’s challenge is clear—survival for a year, with the closest village one hundred miles away. Then there is Thoreau, who built his own cabin on Walden Pond. Granted, it was easy walking distance to Concord and rumor has it that Thoreau took his laundry home to his mother, but in my terms, he was roughing it. On the contemporary scene, Sara Maitland drives a hour from her renovated Scottish croft once a week, turns off the phone and internet twice a week, and tries to limit her social contacts (not including church and grocery shopping) to six days a month.
It seems that those of us who like to be alone each have a particular focus: Kull’s was solitude; Thoreau’s, simplicity; Maitland, silence. What is mine? Probably solitude, but silence and simplicity are both appealing and necessary. Next week I have five full days at the cottage, time to create a 3S’s routine that might work for me back home.