Hurricane Irene came and went with howling winds and a wet soaking rain that lasted over a day. Our deck with its inch of water bore mute testimony to the hype and hoopla that consumed us for a week prior. The aftermath was a calm that was brought on by a tree that fell and snapped the power lines by the development where we live.
Waking up to the sounds of match stick scraping the side of the match box, I distinctly smelled the chemical before I heard the hiss of the gas stove being turned on. Lazily shaking off the covers, I made my way to the bathroom, switching on the light by force of habit and realizing with a start that I probably needed a candle. The next few hours served to reinforce how much I take for granted. The lights, the hot water, the mixer.. everything!
Kids down for their afternoon nap, I sat laptop by my side struggling to focus on the final exam in my hand. Reading and re-reading the question, I flipped through chapters narrowing down the exact area being tested. Realizing that the battery was going to give out, K painstakingly copied each question to a notebook so I could continue working. Putting pen to paper felt strange. Unnatural even.
The sun slanted and brought with it a darkness that felt thick and tangible. The girls in bed, K and I sat down to a candle lit dinner after ages. Brought on by necessity than by design and enjoyed it all the same. The human face takes on a softer glow in the flickering light of the candle. Long after dinner was done, I stared across the table lost in the strange shadows being cast all around me.
With only crickets and cicadas for company, K and I settled down in the sofa by the bay window reflecting on the girls, work, life, future and happenstance. There was something about the lack of light that seemed to hold time still. Young and ageless.
30 plus hours of no electricity and I woke up to a new craving. A day each week of calm. No TV, no internet, no lights. Just time to unwind and catch up. To soak up the immediacy of the moment. To appreciate the natural light and the darkness. To listen to our bodies to know when to retire.
The calm after the storm was to be cherished. To be held sacred. To be remembered and emulated.