Along with many other people, we lost power in a storm just before the 4th of July. We fared pretty well; we were only without it for 30 hours.
The worst part was that we lost all our food in the fridge and freezer. I hate wasting food so tossing everything was a little bit of torture, but there was nothing else to be done. The stench upon opening the fridge made that abundantly clear.
Being without power for an extended period is a very interesting thing. Pretty much everything I thought I relied on, for information or entertainment, required electricity.
Even something as fundamental as reading has now become power-driven; I kept worrying that my Kindle would run out of juice. Thankfully, I have all those old-timey paper books on my shelves, too.
It was hot in the house but Bikram yoga prepped us pretty well for that. We were perfectly set up to do the series in our living room.
What I noticed most was the quiet. Without music or television, the hum of the refrigerator or various electronics, the hiss of the A/C, or the subtle-yet-enticing bing of a new email – it was really damn quiet around here.
There was no Facebook or home renovation shows to dull my mind. The day was slow and still and peaceful. I believe I felt every moment of the day.
In the evening, we entertained ourselves by playing games by candlelight. It was lovely. We went to bed early. Without bright LED clocks everywhere, insisting on telling us what time it is, we let natural rhythm take over and did things when they seemed right.
While I would never wish for a storm like that again and my heart goes out to everyone who had much more debilitating circumstances than us – there was something to be gleaned from it. It was an incredible lesson in acceptance of uncertainty. We didn’t ever know if we were going to be without power for another hour or another week. It reminded me of the all things we take for granted in the developed world. I was slightly ashamed of my assumption that everything should work simply because I flipped a switch.
I had absolutely no control over it and I could choose whether to freak out or surrender. Sure, I freaked out some, but eventually, the relief and joy that came from the surrender was too good to pass up.
When the cool air resumed and all our clocks started blinking 12:00, I admit to being overjoyed with gratitude. But I’m hoping that the liberation of unplugging a bit will continue, just on more of a voluntary basis….
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