Haibun to Savor

I’ve often contemplated the difference between solitude and loneliness.

Five years ago, my husband was struck down by a six-minute cardiac arrest. For forty-eight hours, we did not know if he would come back to us. Although surrounded by medical staff and family, it was the loneliest time I’ve ever faced. It was frightening to think about life without him. Being alone in loneliness is a fate I wish on no one.

Solitude, on the other hand, is something to savor. In my definition, one is not lonely in solitude, even if one is alone. I’ve stood in the middle of Iowa country fields, feeling the wind on my face, arms outstretched, and felt solitude. A personal sense of wonder at being one with the earth. I also believe solitude can be experienced in partnership. Standing in awe with my husband, looking at our newborn. Feeling a sense of miracle, engulfed in love. It was only us in that moment – there was no one else was in the world – just us. For me, there is a profound sense of positive energy within the word solitude. I’ve experienced a myriad of moments in my life, shared in partnernership, in solitude. And some by myself. Thankfully, there have been very few experiences of abject loneliness.

doe stands in awe, her
sole prints in new fallen snow –
field mouse cowers cold

deer-2133424_1920

First and foremost, let me assure everyone. My husband and I will joyfully celebrate our 49th anniversary on February 7th! All is well and we are thankful for every day.

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Kim asks us to write about solitude. A haibun is two to three paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a traditional haiku (5-7-5 syllables; must include a seasonal reference and prefarably be about nature). Image from Pixabay.com

50 thoughts on “Haibun to Savor

  1. kanzensakura February 4, 2019 / 3:09 pm

    Gorgeous haiku. Yes there is a great difference between wonderful solitude and loneliness. I am glad you and your husband are still celebrating your love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881 February 4, 2019 / 3:10 pm

    First of all, Lill, huge congratulations for your 49th anniversary! I expect you’ll be celebrating in style.
    You’ve explained the difference between solitude and loneliness so well. I can’t begin to imagine how you must have felt at the thought of life without your soul mate. On the other hand, I do understand the sense of wonder at being one with the earth and sharing solitude with your husband. And I love the haiku, with your play on ‘solitude/sole’, as well as the image of that beautiful doe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:36 pm

      Just getting to my reading. Thank you, Kim. We had dinner out at The Top of the Hub — wonderful restaurant for special occasions…at the top of the Prudential Building with beautiful night view of Boston’s city lights.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 4, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    I definitely share your thoughts of loneliness and solitude… superficially they have something in common, but you will always know the difference… love the haiku and how you used it to give a moment of solitude observing the doe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn. Just getting to reading now….we had a busy anniversary weekend (our 49th) and celebrations on the occasion.

      Like

  4. Carol J Forrester February 4, 2019 / 3:25 pm

    Wonderful haiku Lillian. I think we’re on the same page when it comes to loneliness and solitude. Solitude is something to be savored when the opportunity arises. Loneliness is a coldness that is difficult to shift.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      I agree, Carol. Glad you enjoyed the haiku.
      We are truly thankful for every day.

      Like

  5. Joyce Pittman February 4, 2019 / 3:44 pm

    Absolutely know why you wrote this. You explained the difference between loneliness and solitude very well.
    I’m glad for you and G. that you will celebrate your 49th anniversary very soon. 🥂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:38 pm

      It was a wonderful evening with dinner at The Top of the Hub. Great to see the city all lit up at night.

      Like

  6. Christine Bolton February 4, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary! A beautiful Haiku and her solitary footprints 💕
    Yes, solitude and loneliness are very different. I dreaded loneliness as a young girl and teenager and now I welcome solitude. I guess we grow to appreciate it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:39 pm

      Solitude can be a beautiful experience. Thank you for the anniversary wishes. We had a wonderful celebratory weekend!

      Like

  7. Glenn Buttkus February 4, 2019 / 4:36 pm

    Wow, my poem parallels yours–perhaps we all understand the premise and prompt so well, much of our poetics will be preaching to the choir. Congrats on your 49th!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you, Glenn. It was a celebratory weekend and I am just now getting to reading….and am about to be interrupted again. I’ll get there!

      Like

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you! We had a wonderful celebratory anniversary!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vivian Zems February 4, 2019 / 5:26 pm

    You hit the nail on the head by describing that positive energy in solitude. It’s what I live for. I’m so glad hubby’s ok. Time is so precious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you for your very kind words Vivian. I am just getting to my catch-up reading after a celebratory weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. msjadeli February 4, 2019 / 5:34 pm

    congratulations on the upcoming 49th! yes, there is a distinct difference

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you! Just getting to my reading after a celebratory weekend. I may not get caught up and just have to move on to reading today’s responses from the Quadrille prompt. Well….hope I am forgiven given the occasion!

      Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli February 11, 2019 / 1:15 pm

        Celebratory Weekend Honoring 49 Years! Yay!

        Like

  10. Suzanne February 4, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    It is strange how we can wrapped in our own solitude even when in the presence of others. You put it very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:42 pm

      Exactly. Thank you, Suzanne.

      Like

  11. Gina February 4, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    you have been married for as long as i have been alive! congratulations from the heart! loneliness creeps in from the outside, but solitude is birthed from inner contentment, i get that form your haibun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:42 pm

      You understood it perfectly. Well……I like to think there is no age on dVerse….we are all the same age in our words! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. V.J. Knutson February 4, 2019 / 6:10 pm

    I agree with your definitions, Lillian. Solitude is cherished. I, too, have felt the loneliness of almost losing my husband to a heart attack – very frightening. Loneliness is a different companion. Your haiku paints the perfect moment of solitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      We are both so very fortunate to have escaped that frightening loss. We’ve learned to be thankful for every day. Glad you enjoyed the haiku. Excuse the late reading….and I may not get caught up on all the haibun posts…may just have to move on to today’s quadrille readings. We had a celebratory weekend for our anniversary. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • V.J. Knutson February 11, 2019 / 2:54 pm

        I get behind too, sometimes it’s overwhelming – we do what we can

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Sabio Lantz February 4, 2019 / 7:48 pm

    Very personal sharing — sweet with a nice ending (not something all of us are so fortunate to have, of course — but your story was touching). The Haiku and pic in the winter very fine — oh that poor cold mouse. I could feel that shiver

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:46 pm

      Thank you Sabio. Just now getting to the reading as we had a celebratory few days including the weekend for our anniversary. Don’t think I can get all caught up on the haibuns…may have to just move on to the responses that will come from today’s quadrille prompt. Hopefully I am forgiven – given the reason.
      Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  14. Robert D February 4, 2019 / 8:57 pm

    Deep reflection in a lovely Haibun I really enjoyed it.

    Like

  15. rothpoetry February 4, 2019 / 9:14 pm

    I agree that there is strength found in solitude! Glad to hear you husband recovered and is doing well. The doe in the snow is a great picture of solitude!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:47 pm

      Oh yes……we’ve just completed a celebratory few days, including the weekend, for our anniversary. Just getting to responses and sadly….will probably not get caught up on all the haibuns. May just have to move to the posts that will come for today’s quadrille. Hope I’m forgiven!

      Liked by 1 person

      • rothpoetry February 11, 2019 / 12:58 pm

        I believe there were fifty posts, so I don’t think you would be expected to read them all!!

        Like

  16. Mary (tqhousecat) February 5, 2019 / 7:24 am

    Oh, beautiful! I actually looked it up to see if there was a difference between lonely and solitude. We can presume we know, when we don’t!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:47 pm

      Hi Mary. Funny…..I had my own definition of the two but also looked them up! 🙂

      Like

  17. alisonhankinson February 5, 2019 / 2:40 pm

    I love your explanations and felt very much the loneliness when your husband was ill. We take so much for granted in life and perhaps when we are fortunate to experience solitude it is because we have some peace in our lives.XXX

    Like

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:49 pm

      Thank you for your very kind words here, Alison. I’m embarassed to just be getting to my replies here…and don’t think I’ll even try to get to all the haibun posts as we will very soon be reading quadrilles today! We had a celebratory few days including the weekend for our anniversary….so other than posting a poem to my hubby….I’ve been away from poetry for a bit here. Will enjoy reading all the quadrilles today!

      Liked by 1 person

      • alisonhankinson February 11, 2019 / 6:12 pm

        Happy anniversary. We are celebrating our silver tomorrow. Xxx

        Like

  18. L. Stevens February 5, 2019 / 6:44 pm

    I loved this. I definitely appreciate that my life holds more moments of solitude than loneliness. Congrats on your anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:50 pm

      Glad you enjoyed! And thank you for the kind words…..we had a celebratory few days including the weekend….hence my replying now and being so very behind in reading habit responses.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Kenji Kojima February 6, 2019 / 1:11 pm

    Congratulations Lillian from across the ocean on your 49th anniversary! I’ve by chance came to know your poetry site on Face-book and been following your poems for the last six months, but didn’t have enough courage to leave a comment, because it is not easy in many cases for a non-English-native to comprehend the works written in English. Tonight, however, I could appreciate well how you described about solitude and lonliness, so I plunged to dare to write back for the first time. But, what is most pleasing is that I am now able to communicate with you first time in 54 years since the graduation from WTHS. I am really grateful of this opportunity! By the way, I will be celebrating my 45th at the end of next month.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian February 7, 2019 / 6:48 am

      Oh Kenji – how WONDERFUL to see you here! Thank you thank you for finding me on Facebook, and then following my poetry, and most importantly, taking the plunge to write a comment. Sadly, I never made it back for a WTHS reunion – I think you were at the 50th? I saw Gail Short Hanson in Washington DC last May. She and I have kept in touch over all these years. She is my only connection to those high school years – until now! Now I have you! Forgive me….I cannot remember exactly your home country. Is it Japan? What city do you live in now? And – happy upcoming 45th anniversary to you! I will look for you on Facebook. Thank you again for writing this note! I am delighted to see you here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kenji Kojima February 7, 2019 / 9:32 am

        Lillian, I am also delighted so much. Yes, I will communicate through Facebook. You said it right. Japan.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Truedessa February 9, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    I agree there is definitely a difference between loneliness and solitude. You thoughts convey the difference in a deep and personal way.

    I absolutely, love that photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 11, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you, Truedessa! Apologies for the late reply….and not reading the haibun posts. We had a celebratory few days including the weekend. I shall be reading all the quadrille posts today though! Hope I’m forgiven for this lapse. Sometimes we just need to “do” instead of “read”. 🙂

      Like

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