The Wandering Dude: Solitude

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” - Henry David Thoreau.


The Arkansas Delta is a place of many contrasts. On a social level, you could still see it when I was a youth in the disparity between the once luxurious plantation homes of landowners situated alongside the small shacks that housed the ones who worked the land.


On a physical level, there is today a contrast between vast fields of rice, soybeans, cotton, or rice and small, isolated spots of vertical growth. From the air, it resembles a network of interlocking parallelograms stitched together by thin threads of emerald and sprinkled with dabs of deep green.


On foot, finding a small spot of undisturbed land offers a moment for solitude, something that is always welcome. The one pictured below is a spot on Brenda’s grandfather’s farm. It provided many hours of entertainment for her and her cousins when they were young and fishing all day on the banks of a tiny pond in the middle of nowhere was rare fun. She claims that a spring must have fed it for it had water all summer back then. Time dries up many of our dreams if we are not careful.


I always stop when I am walking along this spot and think about all the life it must have seen. Not only human life, but other species that found refuge, or life, or maybe just solitude in a place like this. It is a quiet moment that makes my life richer.


Hardly a day passes now that some offer doesn’t arrive in the mail to travel to some exotic place. I’ve been to a few, and such trips were pleasant, but fleeting experiences. Maybe I’ll visit some more. Who knows what life has in store?


In the meantime, small spots of quietude such as this will do.



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