Yesterday we lost power early in the day and it didn’t come back on until about 2:00 am. How strange to look around the neighborhood and see nothing, imagining the shadows of the other houses and wondering what my neighbors were doing in the darkness.

Sitting in a pitch-dark house that was growing colder and colder by the hour brought back primal memories —  a five year old hiding under a cardboard box in the middle of the tall grass behind Wiley’s house; a bush pilot landing on a remote ice-bound lake in the Artic and bunking for the night in a cold cabin shared by mice and squirrels; one last ice storm and the cold blackened rooms shared with the former Mrs. Rake years ago, neither one of us able to speak nor warm the other. It was then — faced with that dire emergency and unable to help or comfort the other — it was then I knew we were doomed.

Last night I eventually got a fire going in the wood stove, lit some candles, and lay down on the floor with my dog beside me for company (and warmth!). In the brooding dark light I tried to read Hawthorne, but gave it up after an hour, my eyes tired from straining. I think we fell asleep for an hour before the electricity came back on. It was 2:00 am. I felt relief to know I would have heat for the night, our food would not spoil, and I could crawl into my bed and sleep without fear of our aloneness.

 

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