Ode on Solitude
~ Alexander Pope
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.
The children have gone off on holiday with their grandparents. It's strangely quiet without them and there's less structured activity to pad out the days. It's the catering that I notice the most. Dinner and washing-up for two. Cut lunches for two or not at all. Bliss. No mess on the floor. No crazy bedtime routine. No... little faces, little conversations, little books and learning. No little hugs. I can't imagine what it will be like when they have grown and gone away. It's nice for a week but not for an endless period, as it will surely be one day. Empty children's bedrooms are the saddest places, I think.