I’m intrigued by loneliness. I think of myself as a sociable person who thrives in the company of others. How would I deal with being alone? Why do some people cope with it better than others? Is it something that will one day happen to us all? Is being alone the same as being lonely?
This summer I travelled to remote wilderness in Northern Lapland to visit Maria who lives alone there during the months of the midnight sun. She has no electricity, no tv, no internet and her only contact with the outside world is a weekly supply boat. She’s extraordinarily happy, euphoric even, and surrounded by an environment so energised that it’s as if the whole of nature has befriended her.
We swam every morning in water so cold it made your heart beat out of your chest.
We caught fish and cooked on open fires whilst eagles flew overhead and reindeer came within touching distance.
We spent hours in the forest and never tired of watching the light – lost in the moment when sky and water merge to form a continuous landscape of infinity.
In today’s virtual world dominated by twitter, facebook and networking with high speed internet on the move, it was fascinating to step away and get back in touch with the raw, intense and healing power of nature.
I still don’t know if I could live alone but maybe it would be easier with a friend like Mother Nature.