No TV. No Internet. No email, and even the phone was out for a day--which was better, in a way, than unplugging it, because this time I just had to let go.
Nature spoke. I didn't even hear the wind over the rain in the night, but in the morning trees were down everywhere. Needles and branches littered the dirt road through the forest I call home. The power lines were down for three days.
It was no death scene of a distant city, like those I had witnessed the week before, with the painful luxury of a front-row seat three thousand miles and a way of life removed. The forest took its losses without complaint.
Another Gulf War, longer, and larger, rages in the rumors of front pages, elsewhere. But today, instead of world news or baseball, I take in a walk to the river. I write outside with cold fingers on a small notepad, while the silver morning grows over the mountains to the south. A single raven calls, answered by various-rhythmed birds... then a humming silence.
Last night the boys did homework by candlelight, played acoustic guitars. The night before, Nintendo gave way to Kahlah. I re-learned an old tune on the pennywhistle, beat on a drum.
Have I embraced this emptiness yet? These last few nights there was more time for sleep, dreaming, love. Now there is only time.
Shouldn't it be this way?
Nature spoke. I can no longer take "power" for granted.
--Nowick Gray, 26 September 2001