Begin here. It is raining. I look out on the maple, where few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself, and to the rain ticking gently against the windows. I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my ‘real’ life again at last. That’s what is strange — that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life, unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here and ‘the house and I resume old conversations.
— May Sarton from Journal of a Solitude (entry for September 15th).
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
— May Sarton
The whole value of solitude depends upon one’s self; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell, as we ourselves make it.
— John Lubbock
Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.
— May Sarton
One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe