*Waldeinsamkeit is a German word for the feeling of peace and connection when you are alone in nature.

By Jessy Wallach, TIWP Student

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Loneliness is truly empty, but aloneness is allowing yourself to fill up the space around you. For example, walking through the park at night when the whole town is asleep, enjoying the silence of nature and tending to all the thoughts and ideas I didn’t have the time to nurture throughout the day, I am very much alone, but never would I say that I am lonely. I can spend hours weeding in my garden, or going on walks, or even cleaning the house or washing dishes in the sink, and feel perfectly content. Yet often I will find myself at some sort of gathering or party, gabbing away with someone who in an hour will not remember my name or if they spoke to me at all, and I will be struck by the thought that I am the loneliest person in the world. It is only when I have the quiet space I need to listen to my own thoughts, without the pressure to keep up with a conversation, or suddenly be jolted out of my brain or required to explain what I was thinking, that this feeling of loneliness fades and I feel delightfully, immensely alone. 

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