Yesterday I knew something was wrong when at 4am I opened my eyes to pure darkness. Even though it is a huge waste of electricity, I have – for as long as I can remember – slept with the television on. It provides light and noise, and I find it comforting. The television station I fall asleep watching is Nick@Nite, and at 5am when it changes over to children’s programming – a lot noisier, it is like an alarm goes off and I am awake.
Anyway, it was dark, it was quiet, and again, the electricity had gone out. A full two weeks (during three different times) my electricity had been out last year. Here we go again. I start thinking about all the things I “should” have done… like buying solar panels so I can keep the food in my fridge cold, buying enough C-batteries for the small tv a neighbor gave me for Christmas last year and having enough D-batteries for the radio and flashlights. Or better yet, becoming totally self-sufficient/off the grid… wouldn’t that be wonderful.
The truth is, as prepared as I like to think I am for disasters, etc. I truly realize how UN-prepared I am when something like this happens.
The worst part was, that because the house had been closed up for the air conditioning, I had missed hearing the rain hitting the dry garden outside my bedroom window. I had missed the incredible light show of the lightning and missed the powerful noise of the thunder. For these two items I will often turn off the night tv and enjoy nature’s show.
Dark and quiet and I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a flashlight. It was getting stuffy inside. My cat and I wandered out the back and he ate grass as I sat at the bistro table on the patio (the grill of the chair still wet) and sat in the 4am cool after a rain. I often find it hard to just sit and “be” – but I made an effort to do just that… at least for a while. I eventually went inside, grabbed a pot and boiled some water for my coffee (I always light the gas stove with a match – that way it stays unplugged). I set up the coffee grounds as usual in the coffee maker, and when the water started to boil I poured it over the grounds and into the coffee pot landed the hot coffee. Coffee made this way always tastes better. I went back outside and drank coffee as the sun came up.
Would I have done any of this if the electricity hadn’t gone out? Probably not. Sometimes doing without the electricity all-together is a real gift. I learn to appreciate what is not there, but also what is always there but I just miss because technology and life (as usual) gets in the way.