Lens-Artists Challenge #238: Alone Time

To develop our real selves, we need time alone for thought and meditation. To be always giving out and never pumping in, the well runs dry.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Some of us crave alone time; others crave time with others. I belong to the group that hungers for solitude even if that means staying up late to read a book when everyone else is asleep.

I’ve been that way since I was little. As much as I loved playing with my sister and brother, I still needed time to be alone with my thoughts. In fact, I still savor these moments. Am I antisocial? No. After a period of solitude, I’m energized and ready to spend time with others. And what happens if I don’t have some solitude? The people who love me say I become irritable and short-tempered. And I know they’re right!

In response to Ann-Christine’s challenge this week, I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to spend time alone.

Take a Walk and Admire the View

This is one of my favorite walks in Florence. I climb up the hills ringing the city and explore the winding paths down quiet streets lined with ancient walls and beautiful family estates. One day I spotted a brick that was etched with the year 1600–when the wall was built. The sense of time and history are very strong in this area. Some estates, owned by powerful families, date back to the Renaissance.

Grab My Camera

Often on my walks, I take my camera. Right now, I’m using a Fuji X-T 4 and my Google Pixel 6. They both perform well and give me a chance to “be in the moment.” When I go out with my camera and search for beauty in unexpected places, it feels like a walking meditation.

Find a Garden

Spending time in nature is like taking a long, deep breath. When we settle down again, I’d love to have a patch of earth where I can plant flowers and watch nature unfolding around me.

This image was taken one morning in one of my favorite gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, B.C.

Read a Good Book

As you might have guessed, one of my first “loves” is books. Historical fiction is at the top of my list as well as literary fiction. Sometimes I imagine a space in our future home with shelves and a comfortable sofa– like this one I saw in Savannah, Georgia. It would be perfect for curling up with a book. When I’m not reading, I’m often writing.

Savor a Quiet Moment

Of course, savoring a quiet moment includes a cup of coffee or tea. When my mouth is busy taking a sip, my mind is free to roam.

Admire the Sunset

I am hardly a “rise and shine” person, so given this, I often miss the sunrise. As a result, I have an affinity for sunsets, which are often beautiful and remind me to savor the moment.

They also remind me of my relative size and insignificance in the world. When daylight dims, a deep quiet fills me. The sunset is nature’s promise of another day, another chance, another beginning.

We hope you join us this week in sharing your favorite ways to spend “alone time.” A very special thanks to Ann-Christine who chose this theme and always inspires me with her gorgeous images. I’m sure you’ll agree when you take a look at her post this week. We’re looking forward to your inspiration, too! Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag and link to Ann-Christine’s original post.

Last week, our talented guest-host, Bren, shared some techniques for softening our images. She encouraged us to explore how softening can change an image in subtle and sometimes dramatic ways. Many thanks, Bren! Next week, Tina will lead us. Her theme is “Finding Peace.” We invite you to visit her beautiful site next Saturday at noon EST and join all of us. Until then, have a week filled with satisfaction, happiness, and plenty of inspiration.

49 replies »

  1. Ha! We’d keep colliding on that hill if I lived in Florence, Patti- no alone time! Just as well I’m here. Though I could manage to read while you were strolling, taking photos. That’s a lovely fuchsia!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love your photos and musings – and yes, many of them are similar to mine. I envy you walking the hills of Florence, and I think I know the feelings you have looking down at the city and the historical sites. Gardens must be lovely over there! A mezmerising Fuchsia you found – it is such a complicated flower, did you notice? The green grass and surroundings make it truly shine in this image.
    The last image is my favourite, it sits in a gorgeous light – and I can so relate to sunsets. ..Thank you for a lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh the walk up the hill in Florence. You should have left that a “best kept secret”. lol I follow right along with your love of walking, photos, gardens, literature, and coffee. But oh how I love the sunRISE.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with Brian – I vote yes to all and see we’ve shared several thoughts on various solitary moment. Loved that beautiful wall and walk in your opener Patti – I’d be right there with you. But then of course we wouldn’t be alone LOL. I too have treasured my alone time even if it means staying up too late to get it. and yes, it helps me to better enjoy the time I spend with others. Beautiful post, loved all of your images as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I fall into the category of ‘needing alone time,’ and get severely grumpy when I neglect it. I enjoy camera walks at the beach, and solitary coffee breaks, but lately reading makes me sleepy. Guess I need to choose better books! The flower in your garden photo is one I have never seen before. Beautiful.

    We were in Florence last September, and saw similar views to the one you’ve shown, and of course, the famed wall. Those memories will supply a lifetime of reflective moments for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful images Patti. I can absolutely see why you love to walk on that hill – what a view, and such a strong sense of history there! But my favourite shot is that of the fuchsia, just perfect 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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