The Calm After the Storm

We had a hurricane like storm last night. Although brief it did extensive damage. We were without power all evening. My garden is in sorry shape but you know I am not all that upset about it. It kind of makes one accept the temporary nature of life. It reminds me of the monks making intricate sand mandalas and then letting the wind carry them away. I think watching something you spent hours creating be destroyed is a good lesson on what is important in life which allows you to put matters that have taken too much of your energy into perspective.

It was funny because I was looking at the completely dark neighborhood thinking the people around here are the type that are probably absolutely freaking out about being without power. With the exception of our Amish neighbors (of course) the entire neighborhood was pitch black. I imagined them all sitting in front of their big screen TV’s cursing the night for this terrible inconvenience. Honestly, most of them probably just went to bed early hoping to wake from the nightmare that is life without luxury.

Years ago, when we lived in the mountains we lived without power for nine months while we built our house. If you can picture an episode of Little House on the Prarie you would be very close to understanding our lifestyle. I cannot remember a time when we felt closer as a family. There was a great deal of quality time available which led to such activities as reading books (gasp), playing games and quietly reflecting on the meaning of life while staring at the flames of a comforting fire in the wood burning stove. It is amazing how much time our society spends staring at the television instead of interacting with one another.

So last night when the power went out our old life mentality kicked in. We lit candles and a kerosine lantern and played charades. I was sitting on the couch thinking how utterly bizzare people would find a peek through our windows as they drove by. Everyone jumping about, shadows dancing on the walls, everyone screaming “ROWING A BOAT”, “ELEPHANT TRAINER”, “WINDOW WASHER”. Even my two year old daughter got into the picture, standing before us dancing in circles as we “guessed” what she might be trying to convey. When one of us said something she liked she would squeal with joy and clap her hands. I laughed at the thought of someone frantically calling in a domestic disturbance after looking in the window and seeing people flailing their arms and screaming and having an officer come only to find a naked dancing baby performing to a captivated audience.

As the evening came to a close we all curled up in one big bed and I read Stellaluna to this still very captivated audience. I cannot remember a time recently when I had the undivided attention of every member of my family. It was divine. Then each child went to their own beds, flashlight in hand and dreamed of acting out the word “family”.

So I say bring on the power outages! At least once a month please. Just make sure it is back on in the morning so I can have my coffee and blog about it.



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4 responses to “The Calm After the Storm

  1. suz

    i couldnt agree more. some of my best memories as a child were when we had power outages. we would all go outside, sit on our big front porch, talk with all the neighbors, light candles. it was an exciting, bonding experience.

  2. Ah, what a cool post! I don’t mind power outages either. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful evening with your family!

  3. Oh sorry about your garden! 😦 I hope some of it will rejuvinate…

    I’m glad you had the family time though… I like power outages that last into the evening but not the morning too. Gotta have that cuppa first thing!

  4. Love this! Brought back the memory of a bad storm when our kids were little. We blew up the air mattresses and put them in the living room, dragged in the battery-powered lanterns, and just talked and giggled and laughed.

    I actually love it when it goes off for a little, but when the contents of the freezer start to be threatened the fun wears off 😦

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