My husband the biker was riding through Idaho in mid-Summer and stopped at a local store. As he stood by his bike drinking water, a man walked up to him, admiring his Honda Goldwing. After a bit of conversation, the biker learned that the elder had been living in the hills for many years. The man prided himself with the fact that he lived happily alone and “off the land” – forfeiting the trappings we call mere necessities. He shared with my husband that after a long period of time in the hills, he came down for a rare visit to the store. During that particular visit, he learned from someone he recognized that his mother had passed away six months earlier. He missed saying goodbye and he missed her funeral, but as he was sharing this on a hot summer afternoon, the man did not seem affected at all. My husband thought of this often as he rode away, continuing on his journey. It made him sad; it also made him appreciate his family and friends. He too liked the solitude of riding his bike in the open country; however, he cherished the fact that he always had us to return home to. But, it is also noteworthy that this is the lifestyle the hermit chose for himself. What we might call loneliness and seclusion, the elderly man calls home. When my husband was telling this to me upon his return, my immediate thought was this hermit was having second thoughts about how he lived – that perhaps he was feeling sadness at his mother’s passing – sadness at not having anyone to talk to – sadness at living all alone. But this was not the case. The more my husband spoke of the hermit, the more I realized that the elderly man was actually happy with how he lived. He liked being a hermit. He enjoyed not having others around. Whatever his relationship was with his mother, he gave no indication of his feelings, other than it seemed not to affect him at all. Thinking he wanted to come down from the hills and join “civilization” could not be further from the truth.