Alone doesn’t have to mean

Lonely.

I was sitting by myself, naturally, when a swan slowly wandered around me. As I watched her it struck me she was perfectly happy being there on her own.

Someone recently said that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. Maybe you need peace and quiet, or maybe you need to drop the brave face you keep on all day and just be truly yourself, free from expectations or pressure.

Nearly all the children that passed by shouted ‘swan!’ Perhaps that was all she needed. To be acknowledged but not pestered. She had the means to fly away and seek out other birds but for now, she was happy being alone

The book ‘Five minutes’ peace’ suggests that time by ourselves can often be hard to come by. Loneliness is an awful state to be in but time alone is lauded as a precious commodity by many. If only the harried mothers could swap with the isolated elderly for an afternoon. Imagine the chaos!

We all want to belong, to be part of a pack, but not all the time. Sometimes we want to potter about doing nothing in our own company.

I dislike the idea of people rarely being seen by anyone else. I love thinking that everyone, at least once every day, hears someone calling their name. We all need be seen, even if we’re mostly happy by ourselves.

So next time you pass someone sitting, standing or walking alone, say their name if you know it, or ask them if you don’t.

There’s no shame in friendliness.

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