Friday, June 1, 2007

Electricity, eeeeeeeelectricity!


Well, I meant to post my recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Grits yesterday, but by the time I got home from work the power was off. Thankfully, it wasn't just us. All thirty of the houses in our neighbourhood were blacked out. For some reason, things like this are always better when other people are miserable with you.


It's funny, though, how people react when they lose power. Some folks got mad, and stormed up to the builders office at the front of the subdivision, who, coincidentally, was also without power. The guy across the street was in his garage, flipping every breaker in the box, and asking everyone he saw if their power was out, too. Some people were standing on their front porches looking confused, turning the switches for the porch lights on and off as if doing it a few more times might make the light come on. My husband, brilliant human being that he is, immediately headed to the grocery store to buy bags of ice, and a case of bottled water. He also made sure that the propane tank on our new grill was still fairly full. I think it's why I married him. He's so good at taking care of things.

So I came home to a house that did not have the familiar whirring sound of ceiling fans. All the windows were open, and it was blissfully quiet, for bit anyway. Eventually, our four-year-old couldn't take it anymore and dragged out her electronic piano, which runs on batteries. She's just about figured out how to play "Three is a Magic Number" from School House Rock. But really, for the most part, it was quiet. I could hear mocking birds, I could hear the kids riding bikes out in the street, I could hear people calling for those kids, and their dogs, and their friends who live up the street. I could even hear the traffic from the highway, a couple of miles away. And I got to thinking, we always have this background noise going in the house: the ceiling fans, sometimes the air conditioner, the refrigerator, the computer, the TV, etc. I wondered what complete and utter silence would be like, because I'm pretty sure I've never really experienced it. I wondered if it would drive me crazy, or if I'd go to sleep, or maybe if I'd just crack open a beer and enjoy it. I went with the last choice yesterday afternoon. I watched my husband read his book, and listened to the mockingbirds.

And it was heaven.

5 comments:

DaydreamSupercollider said...

Hi Jen...do you camp? One of the things I look forward to with a passion is camping season here in Ontario. I practically live for it. Because I'm so used to a cacophony of noises, sleeping under the stars in the forest is like stepping into another Universe for me...it is my Heaven. That was a great post...have a great weekend, with or without the electricity...

Dad said...

I still have a childhood memory of lying in a bunk bed in a back bedroom on the second floor of my grandparents house in a small Ohio town. In the summer with the window open I could hear the breeze shuffling the leaves in the trees or the sound of the rain falling through those same leaves and on the Dutch roof above. I used to just lie there and listen or read and enjoy the sense that all was right with the universe.

I have also experienced silence where the only sound is your own breathing and heartbeat. That is a very uncomfortable silence because it shrinks the universe to a singular point in space.....you.

taqdeer said...

Hi Jen :)

I really really liked this post! It's not many people that can start seeing when the lights go out :)

Those times that one is left with nature and one's senses are magical indeed :)

'Three is a magic number' was also done by Jack Johnson for the Curious George movie :)

Anonymous said...

Hey girl. YOu have people from all over the place reading your blog. That slightly rocks! Yeah - the fact that the little Princess taught herself how to play the piano frightens me... and to this day when people say I'm a lying liar I whip out that DVD and play it for them. Thankfully I have a laptop now. KNow anyone that wants to buy a piece of crap computer?

Yeah - it rained up here tonight - we got the tail end of your storm I think. Nothing is better than listening to the rain. There is the distinct sound when it hits the roof that's just brilliant. THe smell after the rain is kinda nice too (no - not the smell of worms being drowned out of their houses) but the smell of the flowers that have opened up because they needed the rain. It's beauty-full, I tell ya.

Anyway - before I blog on your blog... lol (I know - too late!)

Toodles!

Jen said...

Y'know, I got to thinking about the whole silence thing, and I realized I have experienced that perfect serenity once. I was about six years old, or so, and my Gran had a store up on Georgian Bay in Ontario. It's a region that gets a lot of lake effect snow. One weekend I was there, and the snow looked like it was four feet deep. I crept out early to the yard behind the store, and dug myself into bank, and just sat there, listening to nothing but my own heartbeat, with the dampness sinking into my snow pants. Snow has a wonderful way of deadening sound.