You see, the multiplicity of people surrounding you can in fact increase your sense of isolation. If you are in a crowd and feeling great connection to everyone in it, then the oneness is amazing; but if you are in a crowd and do not feel that oneness, then you become very alone. If, however, you are within Nature, uncovered and wild, then your connection is instantaneous and with the earth.
Being so near to one of my favorite places, the Painted Desert, the surrounding area of Sunset Crater easily lends to such a feeling. The volcanic land is black and red. The landscape is open with scrubby bushes in one area, mountainous and piney in another. Everywhere, life meets death: sky meets earth, leftover lava meets green plants, and your eyes meet all. Everything is at once open and enclosed, silent and loud. The land tells a story. . . and it wants you to be a part of it.
Being alone with the land is never lonely.
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