I’m no Henry David Thoreau, but I am presently alone in the woods. I am on a mountain in Los Padre National Forest staying in a geodesic dome home with no internet or TV, on a quest for solitude. Birds are my company as they drink out of a deck birdbath I fill every day. They squawk and squeak from the surroundings pines: Stellar’s Jay, downy woodpecker, blue-throated mountain gem hummingbird, and more.
The air is thin up here nearing a mile high, which means I huff and puff walking uphill a little more, although I’m getting a technique going involving S curves instead of straight up or down.
I stare at sunsets for an hour. I know the rise and fall of the mountains circling me, with the bare distant one folded by millenniums of rain a favorite when hit by striated pinks and oranges. The shadows move in a pastel box of greens. Little non-biting flies, one at a time, are waved away until they literally bug me to retreat indoors where I continue watching from a huge picture window.
When it is dark, and in spite of my sensible fear of a bear visit, I sit on the deck in the cushioned Adirondack chair which supports my neck as I stargaze. The Pleides perform nightly with shooting stars making their dash to oblivion in a final gasp of glory. There are billions more up there. I feel comfort in and I am connected to all the beings who ever lived when such a sky was normal to observe every night, a starry dome above that slowly changes with the seasons and returns once more.
The geodesic dome home is an observatory and a landed spaceship. I can lie down and see the stars above through one of three skylights or a window. This ancient dome is the strongest structural form. Buckie Fuller designed them from triangles andhexagons = geometry. I have always liked geometry.
As I stand inside and look up two and a half stories, I feel a joy, a yoga-like heart opening, safely covered in a soaring half sphere with skylights of bright blue, cotton clouds, or sparkling black.
Solitude can be a wonderful adventure. It doesn’t have to be for even a day or for months, like Thoreau at Walden Pond. But every once in a while, it does a soul good to be really alone. Back to nature and maybe to self. A pause. Some awe. It does a person good.