I don’t think I ever read this novel by Thomas Hardy or watched the movie of the same name…a new one is coming out by the way…but I’ve always found that phrase to be compelling. It draws me in and entices me to visualize serenity away from the hustle and bustle, away from the confrontations and drama that arise by merely being in proximity to the crowd. I guess I should probably read the book.
I grew up describing myself as shy. I’ve now discovered the more worldly word for that is introvert. That sounds more like a label than a descriptor doesn’t it. Oh, how we 21st centurions love our labels. I think, no I KNOW that I have become more introverted as I’ve gotten older. It takes me longer to regenerate than it used to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love people and I love their stories. It’s funny too, how deep conversations and relationships don’t tend to drain me like the superficial encounters do. However, I seek to renew my energy far from the madding crowd ever more often these days.
I daydream a lot about those spaces that I could sit and garner that energy. I don’t mean a vacation, I mean an everyday life kind of place. I picture a window seat with a comfy cushion on which to curl up with a blanket and look out upon beauty of the seasons as they change. I’ve always wanted one of those (that… and a horse!). Or an old farmhouse shaded by a HUGE old oak tree surrounded by a little land with a front porch and a gentle swing to sit and ponder. Or even a fire pit to sit outside surrounded by trees to gander at the fire as it dances in a magical soothing rhythm. Best of all, I would love my very own treehouse to which I can retreat in my introverted moments. If I could have ALL of the above….it would be my ultimate HAPPY place. I might never leave…like EVER! These seem such simple wants and dreams, and yet…to find them…not so much. However it gives me something to search for…aspire to…dream about…which feeds my solitude. But I digress…like Alice in the Looking Glass, I always find myself mentally going down rabbit holes.
Most of all, though, I wonder about my longings to withdraw. When I am fixated about something, I have discover what I am to learn from it. What is the Tree Star here that I am meant to find? Is is because I am an introvert and that is what we do? Or, is this our Heavenly Father enticing me to spend time with Him? He knows me. I think He knows that I am easily distracted in the crowd. He knows that it is only in my quiet time that I am able to focus. It is only in my solitude that I can listen and truly hear Him. It is in the quiet that I can find my trust again. I am so very thankful that this beckoning far from the madding crowd is strong in me.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength” ~ Isaiah 30:15