Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Power went out, we were flung into darkness

Ahh, the black of night. We experienced it last night when the power went out and our little village was plunged into total blackness. There was no light from anywhere, not the moon, not the stars, and we literally could not see a thing, anywhere but dark blackness. I inched my way to the kitchen to find a candle and a match thinking it was going to take a good half hour to get there at this slow inching along pace. Sweetie was more adept, found our super duper Y2K flashlight (the one with the alarm, radio, and heavy duty 2 way lighting) and shone the light on my dilema.

I made my way to the kitchen then, started lighting the candles, finding all the candles about the house sprinkled into my decor and pulling out those emergency 2-hour candles that I keep on hand for just so an adventure. We had good, old fashioned candlelight all over the house and it was actually quite cheerful. We said to each other, this is what it was like a hundred years ago, when this house was built and it didn't have electricity.

Of course, all our power-operated entertainments, tv, computer, stove, microwave, dishwasher shut off all at once and we found ourselves sitting down and just looking at each other saying well, what shall we do now, with the rest of the night? Fortunately, I had completed the dinner before the power shut off, so we had a meal by candlelight instead of in front of the tv...what a nice change! Then we sat down together and began sharing some stories, and were content to relax and let the next hours unfold.

It occurred to me that in the old days before we had instant in-home entertainment, that folks talked to each other, shared time together, listened to someone play the piano, read poetry, played parlor and board games, and spent more time in each other's company to wile away the hours. It also occurred to me that folks went to bed earlier as the long, winter dark hours stretched out. And they likely awoke earlier too, and used the daytime hours very efficiently and productively since there was so little daylight.

Just as we were settling in for a nice change of pace without electricity, the power came back on and we were actually disappointed. After being disoriented for a bit, we gradually went back to old habits, turned on the computer and tv again and resumed business as usual. But we made a note that the disruption was a wake up call and made a deal with each other to have one night a week without power....or at least a semblance of what would we do if we didn't have power. And I believe, we will learn even more about each other on those special nights. It's interesting how sometimes one has to be in the "dark" before the light goes on and illumination shines through

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