After nearly two full days without electricity, I want to make all five point on my Gratitude List something about the wonders of electricity and how grateful I am for running water and lights at the flip of a switch. Part of me, however, is a little embarrassed, a little chagrined with myself, for my dependence on this wonder of the modern world. Why is it so hard to manage? Of course, there’s always the anxiety over spoiled food–because we’re so dependent on electricity, we end up with quite a lot of time and money invested in the contents of our refrigerators. I have a friend who has made the transition away from the use of a refrigerator. I’m not entirely sure how exactly she manages it, but it does seem like a good choice. Refrigerators and freezers are real energy hogs.
But aside from the fridge, why does loss of power throw me for such a loop? I go to bed at dark, instead of staying up later than my body thinks I should. That’s not a bad thing. We carried buckets of water from the kiddie pool up to the bathroom so we could flush the toilet. We had filled the kiddie pool the day before the power died–how lucky was that? The buckets were heavy. And it took a lot of trips over the two days we were without power. So who am I to grumble about carrying water upstairs to my bathroom when women in many places of the world are walking often a mile or more, perhaps twice a day, likely with a baby on their backs or children at their ankles, to get the small amount of water that their family will use for the day.
So now the power is back on. I am back to wasting electricity and water. One of the privileges of living in a wealthy nation is that we take our waste for granted and forget that we are wasting. Perhaps I can use this experience to give me practice, to help me live more mindfully, with more awareness, so that I can be more conservative of Earth’s precious resources, so that next time the power goes out it will be a minor inconvenience rather than a serious frustration.
1. Those clouds in the evenings after the storms, bunches hanging low into the magenta of the sunset.
2. The way the shining, fresh-washed blue sky shone out between those clouds, like Mary’s robe.
3. The Ganesha cloud I saw yesterday morning, looking for all the world like the jolly elephant god riding the winds across the sky.
4. A day of really moving in to my classroom, beginning to feel myself in the space.
5. All the power available to me, in so many ways. May I not take it for granted.
May we walk in Beauty!