On this lazy Sunday morning, I’m in the process of thinking about going to church. I’m in my full closet looking at nothing to wear, and the lights go off.
After a call to the fire department, I learn it’s a transformer. (Whatever that is) Now, it’s too late for church. I start to reach for a cup to make coffee. Oh, no power. I decide to work on the computer. Oh, no internet. Well, I’ll go for a bike ride. Oh, garage door won’t open. More than not being able to do something is the painful quiet. The only sound is a fly on the window and my breath. I feel discombobulated from lack of one little thing, electricity.
I’ve been without power many times in life. Temporarily, it was fun. We would light candles, eat what didn’t need cooking, and huddle together until lights flickered and the refrigerator fan started.
Today, I’m thinking about the people in our world who never see the light when they flip a switch, or who are uninformed because they don't get instant world news.
Mainly, I find myself wondering where I can go, or what I can do to escape the hollow silence. I wonder if businesses could be open, if the movie theater has generators, or if I could get into the library. Would the automatic doors open? No.
Even with alternative power sources, hospital staff must be in a panic. What about people in surgery or on a ventilator?
Have church services been canceled? There would be no lights at the podium, or organ music, or mics. Would parishioners enjoy time to pray or get up and leave?
There is no emergency here, just an odd sense of helplessness and feeling lost. The plans for my day immediately went awry, and I only have my imagination to help search for something familiar. I often yearn for peace, and today I have it but don’t know what to do with it. On top of not knowing how long the outage will last, not being able to perform my regular activities is so unfamiliar.
Maybe we need to think about what we would do without power? Do we have candles, transportation not requiring a gas pump, a means to get water, a heat source other than forced air? It’s a crazy thought. What if we couldn’t charge our phones? EEEK
On this week before Christmas, let’s buy fewer gadgets needing an outlet, and join me in thanking our lucky stars for simple conveniences we take for granted.
Wishing you all a glorious, grateful, and giving Christmas!
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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