No One is Alone

”People make mistakes, holding to their own, thinking they’re alone.”  No One is Alone, from Into the Woods, by Steven Sondheim

Yesterday, while working the Times crossword and finishing my second cup of coffee, a centipede slithered out of nowhere, weaseled its way across the carpet and disappeared under the coffee table.

Last night I fell asleep reading about the ancient connection between humans and coyotes. This canid, according to the author, is now present within one mile of anyone in America, including me, reading in bed.

Later, I was awakened by the distinct odor of that white-striped denizen of suburbia passing through my backyard.

This morning, a rabbit, a squirrel, a chipmunk and an assortment of birds foraged peacefully together among the leavings from the bird feeder. Each danced unconsciously around the other, minding, yet not minding at all, the act of sharing sustenance and space.

*   *   *   *

When asked, I say I live alone.  But none of us do. While I certainly could do without the centipedes, and maybe the skunks, I’m certain they have a place in the grand order of things, and so I am content to live with them.

The order of things — a frighteningly fragile construct, requiring balance between need and greed.  Between owning and sharing – space or resources. Between caring for ourselves and others. So I could not help feeling a seismic shift in the order of things as I read that, following the America First President’s trip abroad, Angela Merkel declared that now, Europe is on its own.


  1. Beautifully put.

  2. Loretta Feller says:

    We become aware and strengthen the webs. Resist.

  3. Sometimes we are more alone than other times, in spite of the crowd.

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