Monday, April 4, 2016

Electricity

I have 43% power left on my phone until I am cut off from the world. No, I'm not stuck in a tunnel nor a mine shaft nor a jammed elevator. I'm in my own home, and the power outage is nearing hour number two.  Thank goodness it's daylight savings time or our world would have already been dark. I'm positioned by the window with the most light but even now it is too dark to read.

Thank goodness for my back lit phone which is now at 41%.

I'm feeling a connection to my ancestors who rose with the sun and ended their day (or at least limited their activities to what could be accomplished  next to the glow of the fire or candlelight), with the setting of the sun.

While in Haiti, I noticed that every available plug in the church on a Sunday afternoon, had a phone connected to it. Electricity in Haiti is skittish and many homes are lacking one of the most taken for granted commodities in the modern world.

My neighbor sends a text: a transformer in the canyon has blown out the electricity.

My phone is now at 38% power.

The strangeness of tonight's power outage is that it's starting to feel familiar. Three times in the last two months, while getting ready for school in the still dark morning, the power went out. Fortunately  my organized husband had gathered all the flashlights and batteries and placed them in the top drawer of the entry buffet. I held on to the banister and paced myself to the drawer. Light!  Choosing clothes is a bit of a challenge while holding a flashlight-- as is brushing one's teeth and preparing breakfast.

Blessed I was, when the power came back minutes before I left, or the electricity dependent garage door opener would have made for an interesting morning.  Blessed I was that the electricity went out after my electricity dependent alarm yanked me out of bed.

My phone power is at 35%.

I see that I'm no different from the lamps, the computer, the television, the refrigerator, the heater, and my phone-- we are all electricity dependent.

I am down to 32% power. I hurry and perform all the tasks needed in the dusk light.

It may be that bedtime will be before 9:00 pm tonight. I'll be careful to prepare for the restoration of power before I call it a night. I'll make sure all the light switches and fans are turned to the off position. A few short years ago, while taking care of my father one weekend, before I realized what a privilege it was, the power went out one night. Unable to carry on as usual, it was easier for Dad to call it a day. I helped him to bed and said goodnight and not too many minutes later, I too called it a night. Around three in the morning, I awakened to blazing light and a blaring beeping. I rushed down the hall to turn off the bathroom light next to Dad's room. In the dark, I searched for the beep! It was coming from the electric staircase chair. How could I stop the beeping? I desperately ran to the pantry looking for a flashlight or a candle. A candle! Matches! I knelt next to the stair chair and turned off the power. Shaking, I checked on Dad who had somehow slept through the melee.

My phone is down to 27% power, when the smoke detectors throughout the house beep back to life.

"The power's back!" Tony calls from down the hall. Still not seeing any light, I stand and hope it's true. I flip the switch, and yes there is light.

So many things I take for granted.  I can't imagine how much it is missed until it is gone. Light and my father. How I wish the time left with my father could have been measured like the percentage of available power left-- on my phone.