There was a time in my life when seeking quiet and solitude was as easy for me as taking a breath.  In fact, I don't think space and a sense of timelessness was something I even planned, it was simply what I did, how I lived.  

I can close my eyes still and see myself driving in second gear up the long, windy gravel road with nothing in my peripheral sight except whiskey brown horses, evergreen iced mountains, magpies perched on cattle guards.  Downshift once more and I was home, in the woods greeted by vibrant stellar jays and the resident cow moose.

Another time would've been when my life was pink dust and dried bones.  The time when I walked three times a week, the Navajo cuffs on my wrist clinking together beneath a turquoise sky, to fetch a divine lemon souffle, rich and warm and sweet-tart like the love I was in.

Or how about the time when I sat alone on an island in a country that was not my own.  I was the new American girl there by herself sitting on a dock.  I was told to sit there and wait, that a water taxi would come get me and bring me home later that afternoon.  One hour gone by, two hours gone by... I sat with crossed legs at the mouth of the Caribbean Sea and counted frigates in the golden sky as the sun set, my nerves beginning to resemble barnacles because there was nothing more I could do.  And just as the sun vanished behind the sea I saw the boat, a speck of sand on life's most beautiful rug coming toward me.

I could keep going because I've lived in more places than these three, but those are different tales for another day.

Now, life is not as quiet for me with children grabbing at my thighs day and night.  Ironically, for one who has preferred to live a life in quiet solitude, I have very little quiet or solitude in my life now.  But I do find it in my days, still, only it's more like bits and pieces, hushes and whispers.  It is in moments, the small things.

This past week with extended family in tow we toured through hairpin switchbacks, watched an osprey soar above twelve thousand feet - and did that get me wondering.  We watched from paddle boats on the lake a herd of elk walk into the water, frolicking and noisy, joyful and amazing.  And from observatory's opening in the dark of a mountain night, we looked at Saturn, rings and all.

Best of all, we walked into the woods.  It was not quiet - with thirteen people in our group quiet is of little importance, but I instantly recognized something familiar as we walked forward.  I saw myself, and in a glimpse I saw how much better she is now.



  1. I can completely relate to the "grabbing at your thighs" part of your life.
    I grew up in the city and find I am more suited to the quiet of small towns and love the retreating into the hills but it is not a rhythm I am used to and so I stumble off beat.
    ..and what were you wondering when the osprey soared above?

  2. What was I wondering...oh, about bird bones, capacity, other points of view, that kind of stuff, mostly. :)

  3. What a wonderful post. A family member and I have had an ongoing argument this weekend regarding which of us is "busier." As we talked, I got more and more angry, because this quiet you speak of has been fleeting in the past months. I'm in need of refreshment. Deep, soaring refreshment. This helped. Thank you.

    1. I'm very familiar with that argument. I'm glad you were able to find a breath of air here, not always easy to do under such circumstances.

  4. Lovely post - words and photos. I find too that the mountains fulfill and refresh my soul (my family's too). Looks like a lovely vacation....

  5. beautiful Katie, how lovely to see yourself in that way. there is something to solitude, and yes, even in the chaos of the day to day some of us just have to find it. even just a short spell can be such a remedy. sometime i would love to hear more of your stories :-)