You know those middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakenings when your senses are unusually sharp? The slightest sounds take on new meaning, or perhaps otherwise fleeting thoughts become intrusive. Solitude and silence, although sometimes disquieting, seem to invite deep reflection and unusually intense awareness. As Henry David Thoreau says in Walden, “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” And we hear echoes of these sentiments from Erik Wilker.
Erik Wilker is an administrator at Moses Brown School in Providence, where he was asked to contribute a "This I Believe" essay to a student-led project. He and his family moved to Rhode Island eleven years ago after having lived in the West.