Friday, November 28, 2008

An Hour Electricity(work) Free by Kat Magendie

The wind howls. Our chimes burst against each other in a symphony of sound. The birds work to fly from tree to feeder to tree to feeder. The red squirrels’ fur blow in swirls and tufts. The last few straggling leaves whip about in the air, straight up and then over and finally crash-land to earth. The rockers rock back and forth back and forth, and this time it isn’t the old mountain ghosts, but the force pushing against wood. Inside my little log house, I am warm and toasty. Then, a flicker, and there is the change. The sudden silence. The dimming of light on my laptop. The electricity has gone out.

In the kitchen, I hear, “Oh no! Not now!” as Roger is in the midst of preparing homemade granola bars for his spoiled wife. I say, “Oh oh,” because the heat strip in my study room where I work is electrical, and it’s a cold blustery day. I get up from my leather chair and go into the living room. Even though it’s been only moments since the electricity went out, I whine, “I’m colllddd.” I hurry to the fireplace and put on a “all-natural cheat log” (they make them out of coffee; "eco-friendly!" - Java Logs) and as it burns, I sit as close to the fire as I can—yes, I am over-dramatic when it comes to being cold; I hate being cold.

We call Progress Energy and the recording tells us it will be a few hours before the electricity returns. Me: Whine!

But then, I think, “Wait, this is such an opportunity to do nothing at all.” I grin. I then sit upon my couch, in my warm toasty clothes, small eco-friendly fire burning coffee, and play a game of solitaire. I listen to the wind howl outside. I watch the birds feed. It is a free feeling, this sudden chance away from work.

It’s only about an hour later before the electricity pops back on. Whir of refrigerator, bright of laptop. “Yayy!” from Roger as he resumes his task. But I feel a tiny flicker of disappointment.

I’d started this post to write about gratitude for electricity and the way Progress Energy is so wonderful in keeping us WNCers in warmth and light, but somewhere along the way, I found gratitude for that hour of release from any responsibility. To be able to say, “Oh, I can’t check my email. I can’t work on that project. I can’t…” Perhaps I should have “pretend outages” from time to time. Yes. Take time for yourself, my friends, for really, we do not need an “excuse” to stop and breathe. Namaste.

This cartoon touched me; I thought I’d share it, this day after Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a wonderful day:


Barbara Quinn said...

Oooh...homemade granola bars sound yummy. Lucky you!

You're so right..Mental health breaks are important. Life whirls and swirls and need to step back sometimes to be able to enjoy the ride. Your toasty fire and welcoming room drew me right in.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sounds cozy right about now. Wish I was there! Loved the cartoon. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Gumbo weather. During the recovery from hurricane dujour, we rediscovered just how noisy the house is on a daily basis. The quiet got to be a little habit forming. Sounds like you handled the little blip just fine.

Patresa Hartman said...

a coffee fire log! that's ingenius!

so is playing solitaire without electriciy while temporarily escaping responsibility. awesome.

love the cartoon. :)


Listen to our Podcasts