Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Solicitude of Solitude



It must be almost forty five years since I read Peter Fleming's book, "One's Own Company." It was one of the many books which an uncle had left at my paternal grandparents' house when matrimony had caused him to depart and set up his own establishment. Perhaps not as well known as his younger sibling,Ian, but I think a better writer. Clearly not as commercial.


The title of this book often flits across my consciousness when I am out running by myself. There is something almost cathartic about solitude. It heightens the senses and oft times brings a sense of solicitude. Being by yourself doesn't have to be lonely. It can be the thing that brings sense and clarity to the cloudiness that we sentient souls wrap around ourselves.


The locus for today's analytical exertions was Ballykelly. I drove down Station Road, stopping momentarily at the railway crossing to permit a three carriage train to rattle past and parked in the small carpark at the bottom. This is about three hundred yards distant from the Lough side and the shore wall. A well maintained track runs on the shore side of the wall and this was my chosen route. Despite the brightness of the day there were no dog walkers and no twitchers. I had the venue to myself save for several dozen swans who were sifting through the weeds in the drainage ditches. The silence was enjoyable the lack of people more so.



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