Saturday, March 29, 2008

it was a dark and snowy night

At eight o'clock, our lights went out.

The kids didn't mind as much as I'd thought - Rosey sleeps with a crib aquarium (a hold-over from her 'little girl' days) and Cass just opened his curtains to let a little light in the room - and I went around switching everything off and realizing how spooky-still the house is without machines humming and banging and whooshing and talking.

Okay, the last one was the television. Only a few of the other machines talk.


I curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and the lap-top (runs on batteries!) and tried to remember how the damned thing worked. That took awhile. Then I spent about twenty minutes going through my old files I had on it, realizing it had been over a year since I'd last used this beastie....

And then it was 8:22. Time goes slowly when there's nothing going on.

Tea! Tea was good. Hot sweet milky tea. Which was all gone. I should have put the kettle on the woodstove. Damn.

The rest of the hour, I watched the fire, remembering the first year B and I had moved into this house. It had been quiet then too, less furniture and animals and kids, simpler and less cluttered. A year of going to bed early, to talk and laugh into the night, establishing habits that would set the tone for our lives together.

We were so connected.

9:09. I yawned and went to go hunt up a nightgown, wincing at the bright light searing my eyelids in the bathroom. After an hour, I preferred the dark.

A quiet, more connected life. It sounded like a good prescription for everyone.
Maybe (just maybe) Earth Hour was the start of that.

18 comments:

witchypoo said...

I was startled as well by the lights going back on. It was jarring, somewhat.

Sarah O. said...

That's wonderful!

I did the best I could. Mr. Lemony & Daughter TV absolutely had to watch the Denver Nuggets' game. They watched with all the lights out.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I like what you said about being connected. Perhaps machines are stealing our connectivity.

kimmyk said...

i heard about this. very cool.

we weren't home at that time so i guess maybe i did my part too? not sure. haha.

it's good to shut everything and everyone outside your home out for a while-even if it's only an hour. downtime is good.

Vanessa said...

We were out at a restaurant but we observed the earth hour when we got home. We did wonder what it would be like to eat at the restaurant with only candles though!

Rebecca said...

We participated. Time did seem to go slowly. But perhaps that's a good thing...

Jenty said...

Well done for participating. I forgot! And remembered hlaf way through the hour, and then turned the lights off... but Lance caried on watching the rugby on TV!

Melissa said...

That's such a sweet post! Earth Hour, electrical storms, Turn off TV week--so many ways to "unplug" our lives and make them more meaningful and intense.

blackbird said...

We lit a lot of candles and even turned off the dishwasher...the boys settled in for a poker game and I did a crossword puzzle. It was quiet - and we were the only people on the block who did it.

Ree said...

What a wonderful picture you've written.

tut-tut said...

Yes, wish we had done this too. I remember a very big black out on the East Coast (which I'm sure blackbird remembers as well . . .) during which I read by candle light. It was a calming otherworldly experience for a fairly new reader at the time.

Isabelle said...

What a beautifully written and thought provoking post.

Sue said...

We also learned to reconnect during our dark hour. It was very nice, very serene.

Stomper Girl said...

i thought the time went slowly and quite quickly if you know what i mean? More awareness, but not long enough for it to drag either...

Wisconsin Crunchy Mama said...

We lit a lot of candles and small bean discovered shadow animals on the wall, it was nice. It occured to me that time went slower as well and I wondered why I don't just "turn off" more often.

jAMiE said...

We did our best to participate...but mother required alight on for a little while and i was cooking a late dinner but we kept the lights off in between...it was nice.

We always watch tv in the dark though...i prefer the world dark.

Kat said...

Lovely. I always feel so much more like we're TOGETHER when the tv is off. We don't turn it on much anymore, and some of my favorite times are reading next to my hubby while the little guys play...

Kate said...

The power went off many times and for not so many good reasons when I lived in North Carolina. Coming from the wide open spaces of the midwest to the dark, ivy-twisted, closeness of the foothills where there is no light. Made me snuggle up to the one I loved!