Today, St. Valentine day, I did not receive nor gave gifts.
I'm in romantic relation with no one, and this have saved me from the well engineered consumeristic frenzy of the last days.
Yet, I didn't found "alone". Sure, I'm an irreducible single, and many find this strange. I remember an old, cheerful lady who, during a travel I made in Mexico, asked me "Alone?"
Roaming in Mexico with no spouse, or fiancé, looked to her unusual, maybe somewhat dangerous. I guess that saying her the entire truth (that I was there for professional reasons, as part of an international research project) would have added strangeness to her picture, and I didn't find the courage to say her.
But that's made me think. Here in Italy I'm used that people ask with a bit of surprise why am I not yet married, and find it normal. But in Mexico, facing an entirely different word, the meanings of that seemed to me even more enigmatic, if possible.
I see that being single might seem quite heretical, possibly more even than a homosexual relation. It may seem egotistic (and in part, I admit, it is - I feel quite at ease with myself).
Yet, being "single" means not being really alone. I have never been, for sure.
Even on that night. I was the only human being in that little wood. I stood there from twilight to night, just waiting, letting air flow, sensing the scent of plants and ground, and listening attentively to the many sounds. There were so many of them: from some heavy seeds falling, to the liquid singing of a bird I've not identified. Of a deer who, trembling, tried to circumvent my position trying to pass unnoticed.
In the beginning, after dusk had vanished, all seemed so dark. But the Moon suddenly rose, from behind the mountain crest, illuminating the firs from above. It seemed that light was flowing down, slowly, along the tree trunks, until vanishing in a chaos of shades.
And me there.
Can you hear the stones moving? I did! Or, had the impression of, as the small river I was in was completely without water. Well, almost completely, as a delicate swishy lapping revealed, somewhere. Yet, stone move, relentlessly, with the whole ground, creeping calmly to the valley. I felt tem doing, and the trees migrating with them.
No, you're never alone, with an entire planet always with you (that night, I felt this clearly).
Nor, with people. I have some very sincere friends. Not "too many" - and it wouldn't be friendship something less than "deep". As me, they are like nomads, wandering, exploring. Sometimes, we meet.
Sometimes, we find ourselves and "discover" we were friend since a long tie, even without knowing us.
As with the old lady, a farmer, who told me the wonderful tale of the red frogs who migrate gently from the valley to the river, unnoticed.
Sincerely, as the Mexican lady will ask me once again "Alone?", I will answer her "No..."
Wish the same to me, you, and anyone.
Wish no one is forced to be really alone.