Last week, I was witness to the incredible power of nature and the discomfort and joy of being almost completely disconnected from email, internet, and telephone.
As I sit quietly in my family room, I hear the wind howl and pick up strength slowly and consistently over the hours. Having heard no predictions of hurricane-force winds, I just think it’s an exceptionally breezy evening. That is until I hear strange noises outside.
I look out my dining room window and see roof shingles on the hood of my car. “Well, that can’t be good,” I think.
The lights begin to flicker and I know it’s just a matter of time before the power goes out. I shut down my computers, gather up flashlights and candles, and prepare for the disconnect. Fifteen minutes later, lights out.
Since it’s just after 11 PM, I figure, no big deal. I’ll just go to bed.
I wake up the next morning, eager to see my bedside clock blinking to indicate we are back in business. No such luck. Still no power. This goes on for about 36 more hours. At first, it’s a fun adventure: Go out to breakfast, chat with the other locals about how crazy the weather is, head to the beach at high tide to watch the waves crash onto the parking area, drive around to see the result of Mother Nature’s power.
As I drive, I’m charging my cell phone in my car so I can still conduct client calls. (That didn’t happen). The initial excitement dies down and I head home. I lose track of how many light switches I habitually flick on, or go to respond to emails (thank goodness for my iPhone). Not so fun anymore.
Once again, I let go of my resistance and find I’m able to settle into the peacefulness of being almost entirely disconnected. I read at night by the soft light of a lantern. M and I chat about the day as a candle flickers on the table. It’s quiet. It’s still. It’s heavenly. Other than the house being a bit chilly, this isn’t so bad after all.
OK, I’ll admit it. I do a happy dance when I get home Saturday evening and see the outside light shining brightly. But I do intend on doing my best to introduce more of that stillness, that peacefulness into my days by disconnecting a little bit more.
Give it a shot. It’s enlightening (pun intended).