The night was simply black. The surrounding was dotted with candlelights and few bulbs powered by generators. In our house, we put several large candles to light up the whole house. My grandmother said, electricity was never an issue when she was growing up.
For seven days, we had no electric power. Our lives literally came to a halt. Back to basic, as many old folks say. No television, no refrigerator, no computer, no air-conditioning units. I thought I couldn’t survive the first day without electricity for the whole day and night. My four year old kid could not sleep. I kept on fanning the whole night. In the morning, I was so grumpy, and so was him. Our electric cooperative was beset not only with technical problems but also with political ones. These were beyond my capability to explain. But all I understand, along with the common people, we need electricity. It is now a basic need.
But somehow, the dim light of candle was able to inspire me to reflect on the necessities in life. Indeed, night can bring you to reflect and appreciate things we took for granted. One night, on the seventh day of darkness, I listed these things on a sheet of paper using ballpen guided by a candlelight. While writing, my mind wandered to the time and place when electric power was never heard of.
Here are the lists of the things I appreciated during the power outage.
1.Look at the night sky. My daughter, because she could not watch TV and wanted to ease the heat went out of the house. She looked up on the night sky and was amazed. “Look mother, there are so many stars,”. Yes, the sky was blanketed with tiny diamonds. I think I heard Mozart.
2. Have more bonding time with kids. I have more time to talk to them because I am not in front of the computer doing researches or my assignments. They too have time because they must make their homework early no TV to watch or computer games no play.
3.Have a Story Telling Session. When I was growing up we did not own TV set. we kids sat on our grandfather’s knees and hear his stories about war, folktales and simply exchanging them our own versions of stories. So, during brownouts, oral histories/stories are now passed to my children. (Oh my God, if not for the brownouts, I would’nt not be able to do that.)
4.Sleep early, wakes up early. Dark comes early, we have to conserve candles. Kids sleep early and wake up early. After two days, they are use to sleep without electric fan. They can now feel the gentle night breeze gently lulling them to deep slumber.
5. Fresh foods, no leftover. Because we cannot store foods in the refrigerator, I have to buy fresh foods daily.
6. I can practice long hand. After a decade, I can now read again my scribbles.
7. Pay less. No electric power, less bills to pay