Two weeks without electrical power and finally, someone, said let there be light and there was light late on Sunday night here on Long Island – and heat and television and computers and all the modern conveniences that make our lives both easier and more complicated. I learned a lot of the last few days:
-I re-discovered Scrabble – and found at that 12-year-olds can be as competitive at Scrabble as they are at soccer! I also re-lived the joy of snow through his joy at the Nor'easter of November on Long Island.
-I read poetry to the kids at night – they liked My Cat Jeoffry the spiritual poem on cats by Christopher Smart the best and so did I. Our cat, Shelton, liked it too. As Smart ends his poem about his cat, we petted our cat. "For he is of the tribe of Tiger... For every house is incompleat without him &/ a blessing is lacking in the spirit."
-I found the joy of early bedtimes, for the kids, and myself at 7:30 pm and for waking with the sunrise.
-Historical novels are better settings than contemporary ones when you are living in a cold, dark surreal setting, I found contemporary settings where people argued over money and politics hard to focus on. For example, I started Richard Ford’s Canada (plan to finish it), J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy (don’t plan to finish in the near future) but I did finish Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies-- about the last weeks of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII set in the brutal fall and winter of 1535. (If you don't recall Anne was the one beheaded and pushed aside for wife number three: Jane Seymour).
And, I worried a lot – about my family in the cold – though we were better off than many others – and remembered to be thankful for what we had: an intact house and car and, most importantly, one another. We celebrated by lighting candles on Friday night and saying prayers, even though we had no choice but to light candles, the prayers had a special meaning flickering the darkness with grace and calm.
We live in strange times – between the future that we fear and the past, which we can’t return to. I just hope we won’t be living in the dark and cold until we figure out how to truly move forward.
Did the recent storms hit you? Or have you experienced natural disasters where you live? Did it change the way you think or do things? Be well out there, my friends. And when you have time, consider reading my debut novel: LIE.