When the power goes out…

Let there be light; and there was light!

[Genesis 1:3]

Let There Be Light

Regular visitors here will have discovered the absence of Friday’s post. That was just one of the by-products of a windstorm that caused a thirty-hour power outage affecting our area.

Our daily habits require adequate light for reading, use of our computers, the Internet and television, garage doors that open and close with the push of a button, and abundant water that allows (among other things), flushing toilets and showering.

Because we live rurally, we’re on a well. Without power to operate its pump or to keep the pressure up in the water storage tank, we don’t have water, so we had to rely on a five-gallon jug from our emergency supplies. Fortunately we had a wood-burning fireplace for heat in the main living area, and coal oil lamps to offer a meagre bit of light in the evenings. We ran the generator periodically to keep food in the fridge and freezer cold, and we prepared meals (and coffee!) on a propane Coleman camp stove set up in the garage.

It’s easy to take the conveniences of daily life for granted, and to be annoyed when they’re suddenly snatched from us. We’re spoiled. When we have to resort to living like pioneers, we think we’ve been stripped of some of our rights.

Instead of grumbling, I wrapped myself in a sweater and sat in the breakfast nook using the light from the windows to handwrite Christmas notes. I felt a sort of kinship with characters in historical novels, returning to basics. In this third week of Advent we’re meant to focus on joy*, and, looking past the inconvenience of our power outage, I realized it was giving me the chance to slow down, to take extra time to consider the Coming that we await during this season of preparation.

Today’s entry in our Presbyterian Prayer Partnership brochure says, “During the consumer-driven days leading up to Christmas, pray for a spirit of gratitude and an awareness of ‘enough’.” The power outage was an appropriate opportunity to do exactly that! (Although I admit I was glad to discover power had been restored this morning.)

*The four Sundays of Advent:
Advent I – Hope
Advent II – Peace
Advent III – Joy
Advent IV – Love

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

4 thoughts on “When the power goes out…

  1. In Spain I have noticed a lack of consumer driven craziness at Christmas but more attention on the religious aspect. Children are given gifts on “King’s Day” January 6 instead of December 25. I am glad you found joy in the power outage. (Also pleased it is back on). Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Carol, we do get unwanted reminders sometimes, don’t we, to be appreciative of our conveniences. Here on the east coast it is too common to lose our power in the worst weather, and I’ve found one of the things I miss the most is computer use. Thanks goodness for books! 🙂

  3. I hate it when the power goes out. It does cause me to appreciate the conveniences I’ve taken for granted. I admire your preparedness for the event, a generator, emergency water supply, a fireplace, coal oil lamps, and even a Coleman camp stove. Bravo! Blessings to you, Carol…

  4. Darlene ~ St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 5th by some of our family members. Gift giving is separated from the spiritual aspects of Christmas on the 25th. It has it’s merits!

    Lynn ~ The east coast certainly gets its share of nasty winter weather! I’m with you when it comes to missing my computer.

    Carol Ann ~ We’ve been camping and/or RVing for 55 years, so we always have our camping supplies to depend on when we lack electricity. We also keep an emergency kit in the front closet, for the unlikely event of earthquake or other disaster. They help lessen the impact although not the nuisance. 😉

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