With just a flicker of warning, the power went out late yesterday afternoon, in our neighborhood and a nearby town. For over two hours, we were in the dark, except for camping flashlights and candles. Kind of a romantic ambience, but frustrating if you were in the middle of editing an article at the computer, or just starting to prepare dinner.
We had also been dealing with power and electricity issues earlier in the day; two technicians were here for three hours, performing the complex task of switching our phones, computer, and fax/printer to a new carrier. Ironically, not five minutes before the power went out, the tech called to see if everything was in good working order.
I was already exhausted from the day's events, so when we were unexpectedly plunged into darkness, I took advantage of the situation and restored my spirits by taking a nice, long nap. Sometimes it's good to have an "enforced" break in your routine.
Today, we read about the cause of the power outage in the local online newspaper. Someone hit a power pole on Wolfe Grade Road, and, after a spectacular show of sparks as it fell, that downed pole knocked out the electricity to hundreds of nearby homes.
This incident made me recall one of my funniest stories from the mid-1980s, when I lived down in Felton, near Santa Cruz. One afternoon the power suddenly went out for a couple of hours. The next day, a front-page story in the Valley Press explained: An employee at the local power station who was dusting the office switchboard with a feather duster knocked out the switch that controlled the electricity to our part of town. Talk about living in the fast lane (not)!
Once again yesterday, I was struck by how absolutely dependent we are on electricity. When the power is off, we can't wait until it comes back on so we can resume our "normal lives." But by realizing that our true "power" is within, we can keep our spirits powered up, even by flashlight and candlelight.