It is almost November and the weather is going to great lengths to remind us of the impending torture of unpredictable temperatures and precipitation for the next thirty plus days. Today was a glowing example of that. The remnants of Hurricane Patricia swirled hungrily around our little town and brought with them the feeling of doom that always precedes winter. The rain fell sideways and the South West wind systematically unzipped our coats to leave us feeling exposed to the elements.
On my drive home from work, watching the storm-laden sky become even darker, I could think of nothing more than crawling into a cave of blankets in my living room and allowing myself to succumb to the heat that would soon be escaping from my baseboard heaters. The thought of having to cook a full dinner did not impress me at all so I visited the grocery store and purchased a warm, fragrant pre-roasted chicken.
There is nothing better than comfort food on a cold, grey night. The pungent smell of the chicken permeated my kitchen as I boiled some potatoes and made a somewhat deconstructed stuffing. Onions and celery were left to saute with some bacon as the potatoes were mashed into submission. I usually love to add some flare to the presentation of my meals, but comfort food speaks loudly and needs neither pomp nor circumstance to assert its message.
The food was delicious. My heaters obliged by taking the chill out of the air but the meal lacked a certain something. I love my solitude. I enjoy my own company and I have several friends, one close friend in particular, who admire me for being so content on my own. But my “Thrifty Thursday” Chicken (as the store labelled it), my mashed potatoes and bread-less stuffing would have tasted much better had I been able to share it with someone special.
There is much to be said about living on your own. That privilege of freedom defines gratitude better than a thousand dictionaries. But the joy of being in a room with someone who helps accentuate your happiness is immeasurable. Whether those moments are shared in silence or lost in a cacophony of laughter and endless conversation, those are the moments that create memories. And those are the moments that can sometimes make solitude feel a little more like loneliness.