Love of solitude is a vedanta value I surely do understand. It’s definitely one I don’t have to work on. It links in with an absence of craving for social interaction. I think I’ve found a way to ‘practice’ both at the same time as fulfilling a lifelong burning desire for freedom. I’m talking about going sailing.
I’m starting a sailing course today. It’s a kind of closing of a circle, or a continuing of a family legacy. When I was growing up my father decided he needed a hobby, but one that kept him at home and still engaged with the family. So he bought a yacht hull, and slowly, weekend by weekend, built it up into a fully functional sailing vessel.
We then spent the rest of my childhood either sailing it, or waiting to sail. We became competent enough to go on sailing holidays in different places around the world, way before that became the trendy thing to do.
The tragedy is that over the course of their marriage my mother quit being interested in sailing, and stopped wanting to participate. I wonder if the deterioration of her relationship with him was reflected in her not wanting to go sailing with him? She stopped wanting to hang out with him? I’ll never know. But the result is that he stopped sailing too. Instead of carrying on with this hobby that gave him so much joy and purpose, he sold the boat he built himself with his family, and gave up on a lifelong love that began when he learnt to sail as a young boy in Scouts.
So today in a small way I’m reviving the family tradition. I too have always loved sailing, and since I live on the coast I often see yachts sailing across the bay, and I long to be on one. Now I can.