i’ve always needed a good bit of time to myself.  if i have guests staying with me or if i’m staying with a friend, chances are my body will almost naturally wake at least an hour or two before anyone else so that i have a few hours to wake slowly, read, write, just generally spend time alone.  if you’ve lived with me you may or may not know that by the time i leave my room i’ve probably been up for that amount of time.  if i haven’t taken that time there’s a good chance i’m a complete grouch all day.

in deciding to go rafting/camping with 10 other people for three weeks, i anticipated this time of solace in the mornings might become a problem.  i was still usually the first to wake up – partially because i love being up first, but partially because my body finds it next to impossible to sleep for more than 7.5 hours.  with the short days of october/november we were setting up camp at 4:30, eating at 6 and going to bed at 7 or 8 most of the time!  at least a few others woke at ‘first light’ but that wasn’t until 6 or even 6:30, so those are some long nights.  fortunately i worked out my sleeping patterns – typically just staying up later than most people so that i didn’t wake at 3am anymore.  eventually i became less addicted to the first-riser position and by the last week i was crawling out of my bag even 5th or 6th in line.  i know this simply sounds like i was becoming lazier, but it’s actually quite the big deal for me.  i was as happy as can be – even with no set-aside time in the mornings.

one of the last days i was musing about this to one of my friends as we rowed through some still water.  i explained that my typical need for excessive amounts of space posed absolutely no issue on this trip.  always the good listener and often more articulate about even my ideas once i’ve explained them to him, patrick made a good point that this tribe of people allow for that.  he was similar needs for space when he’s at home and hadn’t thought about how little he’d needed on our trip either.  we decided that the people we were living with for those three weeks are such beautiful souls who are all so conscious of the work they need to be doing.  everyone is joyfully in community, but that involves a lot of room for growth on everyone else’s part.  there’s no need to force time alone because it seems that together we develop even faster and more thoroughly.  what a beautiful thing.


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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