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.
Funny how the children appear to have far more fun-filled days during the school holidays when Dad stays home. He's not as easily distracted by over-brimming laundry baskets, dirt encrusted floor rugs or general untidiness. While I would be sorting and tidying as I go, he can devote his singular attention to having a good time. While I feel slightly awkward being the only one who heads out the door to work in the morning (in the knowledge that this is not just a holiday fix), it is rather splendid to come home to a warm and busy house, the aroma of a cooked meal, children chirriping about what they have done during the day and a glass of wine standing in readiness on the island bench. It's a perverse role-reversal. The strange solitude of the working mother.