Tuesday night last week (25 Aug) and the eye of the storm went right overhead. We (all five of us) stood and gazed open mouthed to see great gums bending over with their canopies dancing to chaos. The rain was hammering down but being whisked in every direction, so it didn’t look like it was falling at all. MAD! ‘Tree down’, ‘limb down’, we shouted as we ran from room to room, inspecting the rip that had torn through.
Amazing though, to see Nature in some of her crazy glory.
The result of which meant all three roads ‘out’ were blocked by fallen giants or their limbs (for the evening at least) and we were without power for thirty odd hours. A mere trifle in the global scheme of things, although I did feel a breath closer to tsunamis, tornadoes and whirlwinds and extremely grateful for our solid bricks built so carefully by the former dwellers. The window panes, on the other hand, had not made me feel so safe with their demanding rattling...and thankfully I didn’t see some of the roof tiles finding their way to the ground.
The biggest surprise and delight though was camping, all of a sudden, in our own home. Enforced slowing; nothing to do, except cook the dinner—porridge (thank goodness for gas) and sit by the fire (believing the electricity would be back in a while. The kids were asleep a whole hour earlier than usual and so were we, after a lovely relax with ‘nothing to do’.
If you’d have asked me, before this stretch without electricity, I’d have told you I was not ruled by technology, that I was well and truly in control of my usage and managed my juggling (family/working at the computer) with ease. I’ve since learnt I’d have been lying.
I was shocked at how ‘on’ I’d become. I’m not a facebooker, blogger (have serious concerns about starting this one!) or twitterer but I am an emailer and very occasionally a surfer. I don’t spend a lot of time at the computer but I am clearly hooked; I felt bereft without my connection. It had been removed, taken away from me and I kept catching myself just going to check my emails and then feeling empty.
So I was given this lovely opportunity to reflect on my attachment to this ‘feeling connected’ feeling. It’s not like I ever get really amazing news or profound insights when I’m ‘on’. I think it’s possibly a sense of being involved in a virtual community but that’s not strictly true as most of my emailers are friends or colleagues that I see as well as correspond with. I guess the virtual community may begin now...so then where will my addictions be?!
It is about belonging though, somehow. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just that I feel like I belong to my computer. Yikes!
Enough talk of computers and more about peace. The house was wonderfully peaceful without electricity. I’m so used to the whirring of the fridge or the buzz of the stereo. I could feel the sense of the house more strongly, without the usual currents flowing through it. So much stillness and solidness!
The power’s back on today and noise is here with a vengeance as chainsaws are seriously disturbing the peace with their mania. It’s time for us to do a garden clean up so I think I’d better get out there and pick up all those scattered limbs and branches; say goodbye to fallen friends and thank the ones still standing.