I have noticed that the best way for me to get a few minutes of solitude at the end of the day is to start washing the dishes. And a few minutes of solitude is something I need frequently. A time to be alone. A time to reflect.
There is a difference between alone-ness and loneliness. Aloneness is necessary for the soul to thrive -- even to come alive!
German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested and eventually hanged for opposing Hitler. While in prison, he wrote letters to his fiancée. The last letter she received was dated Christmas 1944. Speaking of the war that separated them, Bonhoeffer wrote this:
"These will be quiet days in our homes, but I have had the experience over and over again that the quieter it is around me, the clearer do I feel a connection to you. It is as though in solitude the soul develops senses which we hardly know in everyday life. Therefore I have not felt lonely or abandoned for one moment."
We can be alone without being lonely. In fact, those times of solitude are necessary respite for our beleaguered souls, set upon by the pressures of life. We need to take those moments to "get away" and just be still. "Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted," says Hans Margolius. "Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."