03 July 2012

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Savoring the Silence After a Storm

Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. 
~ Michael P. Garafalo

iving off the grid is a tough choice to make.  We have been seduced into thinking we can control our lives with technology and can’t live without it, and have literally become addicted to it ~ myself included!

But those who were in the path of last weekend’s derecho know that it is foolish to put your trust in technology and that despite its best efforts, there is at least one thing over which we have no control: Mother Nature.

photo, June 2012, M. D'Eigh

Millions lost power as soon as the 80 mile winds roared into town, tearing up everything not nailed down, and several things that were.  Roads were impassable, cars crushed under trees and power lines.  Even cell service was disrupted, so besides being unable to contact loved ones, there was no tweeting on the smarty-pants phone either.  Friends who texted me on Saturday didn’t reach me until Monday.

One could almost hear the caged-animal-like wails as wild-eyed people moaned, “But what will I do without the internet or my laptop!?”

Savor the silence?

The underlying hum of electricity is like a drug; once it’s taken away, you panic and go through withdrawal.  You fancy you can feel the silence.  The air hangs heavy and your thoughts run around like frightened mice.  Ever drop of rain sounds like a waterfall and every cricket’s chirp is deafening. You must tweet or text or go mad.

But once you’ve been off the electricity drug for awhile, your crazed neurons settle down again.  You welcome the silence.  And the freedom that comes from living at a slower pace.  You may even begin to appreciate the people around you.  Although to be brutally honest: most of us use technology to hide from relational problems and pain.  So once it’s taken away, your options are to either confront the issue head on, or leave town!

Another way to enjoy life without electricity ~ pick up one of those eco-friendly, non-fossil fuel powered versions of the e-reader: the book!  I had electricity and still managed to devour at least five. 

Or you can learn new things to do outside.  I added sawing tree limbs to my repertoire.  Without a chainsaw.  Oh. Yeah.   And I found out that a truck and a really big heavy chain make a great substitute for Paul Bunyan when you need to clear a fallen tree out of the driveway. 

Now if only I could figure out how to chop the trunk and mulch the limbs off the grid. 

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

My condolences to all those who lost loved ones to the storm.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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