I’ve always had this weird fascination with thunder storms and power outages. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I’ve grown up in California and rarely experienced either. If we are on trips to the Midwest or the East Coast, I get a little giddy when I hear of tornado warnings or experience heavy rain. “Bring it!” I say. Yet I know that I’d be a scared little girl if I was ever in the presence of real danger.
Tonight our power went out for an hour, right around 7:30 when it was dusk. I had enough time to run around and grab flashlights and candles, and even brought a few camping lanterns out for good measure. The electric company didn’t know the cause so they had no idea how long it would be out.
Within 5 minutes, I felt shaky. Not because I was scared, mind you, but because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I sat on the couch, frustrated. “Uh, what I am supposed to do now?!” I was a pitiful sight. No Facebook, no phone, no internet… I moved to the office and sat at my desk, looking out the window. The sun was falling, and everything became silent. I think that’s the most significant difference one feels when the power goes out – complete silence. I watched as the neighbors came out to chat. Dogs were let off their leashes to play. Birds fluttered by. Some kids started up a game of basketball. It was a beautiful sight to see.
I realized how much I miss in the hustle and bustle of daily life - the noises I didn’t even notice were there, the hurriedness that is under the surface of everything I do, the need to be “busy” for no good reason. For a moment, time stopped, and it was good.
1 hour later, I’m still enjoying the silence…and a little disappointed I didn’t get to use those lanterns after all ;)