Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The companionship of nature...alone, but rarely lonely.

I have a great deal of company in the house,
especially in the morning when nobody calls.
- Henry David Thoreau

Arbroath's red sandstone cliffs...and the North Sea.
Despite the pleasant need to be affable and convivial in the midst of others, we are also very content to have the "companionship" of the natural world.

As do many of you, who find meaning and value in self-propelled activities such as kayaking and hill walking, we have discovered that there is a wonderful experience of rapport in nature.

The sound of the bow of the narrow boats, rising and falling through the gentle swell, delivers a "voice" that can be heard. It is the same sound that was heard thousands of years ago by indigenous paddlers on northern waters. This familiar call, speaks the same universal language today as it did in the countless millennia before recorded time began.

The waves that caress the red sandstone shores feel like they are moving right along with us, enjoying our company as much as we are enjoying theirs. They are beneath and around. The creatures of land, sea, and air offer their companionship - sometimes it seems they are calling out a greeting. We call back, and maybe their "grin" is as wide as ours? Perhaps we are sharing laughter together? We most certainly share curiosity.

Looking out to sea, and along the dramatic shoreline that eventually falls beneath the horizon, we feel a connection to a most wondrous and complex world.

In all of this, there is a "companionship" that nurtures and comforts in ways the busy, and often frenetic urban landscape can never offer.

It is a context where one can be alone...but rarely lonely.

Perhaps this is how Henry David enjoyed such good "company", in those quiet early morning hours, alone in his tiny cabin and around his lovely Walden Pond.


  1. Couldn't agree more! Always a pleasure to read your blog as well.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Leguma, and welcome. You have clearly felt that same connection in your very beautiful part of the world. Best wishes to you. Duncan.

  2. I wish I had HDT love for the quiet morning hours....I'm more akin to lazy by deep purple lately lol.

    1. Haha! Thanks for that, Lee. Thoreau was clearly a "morning person". Having said that, it sounds like your morning kind of "rocks" too! :) Cheers. Duncan.