Last night just as I climbed into bed, a whipping furious wind kicked up. The lights flickered – went out, came on, went out, came on, went out. From the window I could see the 80 foot trees blowing wildly, leaves everywhere. The storm came on in an instant. My mom, dad, KJ and I met in the kitchen, fumbled for flashlights, candles. And then the lightning started and didn’t stop. Thunder hardly broke and never shouted. Rain fell hard with hail briefly, but the lightning flashed incessantly – a light show in the woods.
We all woke up hot in our beds in a house that had quickly surrendered its air conditioning. All day the city sat still (for a city) – traffic lights were out and lines of impatient cars stopped and started clumsily, backed up for miles. At the mall, people gathered around hallway outlets like they were fire pits, all of their elecronica plugged in and charging. Grocery stores closed and neighborhood streets were blocked by fallen trees.
Tonight I got a message from the power company that 440,000 residences are without power, and they estimate a week before electricity is restored -- refrigerator, air conditioner, wifi (Ben works from home), lights.
It’s an adventure. Today I’d planned to go to the beach for the day – a three hour drive to the ocean (ocean!) and funland. But the news predicted temperatures around 100 and the traffic to crawl, especially with the power outages, so we stayed here in this land where the milk is lukewarm in a cooler, where Eden and I are camped out in the basement on couches, where the new house, in need of so much time and work, stands hot and powerless, where there is no Ben for now.
Maybe if we have to live like this for a week, I’ll find power in the powerlessness I felt today, be able to move freely without a charged computer and phone (I ran my car in the driveway to charge them earlier), not join the masses clogging the intersections insisting on being somewhere else, on getting "connected." Maybe I’ll be able to breathe in the slow pace at which everything has to move for now. Sitting here in the dim basement, I am connected right here, with the quiet, with my own need to settle, with Eden's sleepy breathing on the couch across from me. This, I am reminding myself, this is enough.