Chuck, the cagier of our two black cats, often disappears into the forest for days, hunting and collecting its secrets. He comes home acting like a long-lost lover, the king of all he surveys. He’s loner when he wants to be, but nothing about his demeanor suggests loneliness. And, as much as I love the loyalty of our little dog, in my heart I am a cagy black cat.
I work alone most days. I only see a few people when I drop off my kids at school, and I like the solitude. Once, it bothered me that most days my only human contact is with my co-workers in a online chat room or other online venues. I worried that my eager anticipation of the hours when the only sounds are the whispering trees and the wind chimes was anti-social, or that I was making my world smaller.
For a time, I tried to stave off what I saw as loneliness by working in cafes or libraries, but when our work model changed, working from home all afternoon became imperative. Knowing my afternoons would now be spent at our kitchen table, I began running my errand in the morning. Then I started walking the dog after dropping off the kids. It evolved into a routine. Now, every morning before I log on, I find a little adventure. Sometimes it’s about a walk in the woods or a new sketch, other days it’s about a trip to the grocery store. But ultimately, my daily Walk About is about taking a cue from my cagey black cat, and discovering something different. It makes the solitude all the more delicious.