Thursday, September 1, 2011

The loss of light: Post Hurricane Irene thoughts

So I got a call today from my father while I was at my internship about getting power back out our home. I now know that I don't need to find anywhere to take a shower and such.
But I was actually going to express my experience without the power the last 5 days this week.

So I had lost power at about 3:30PM on Saturday during the Hurricane. Most people spent the night to the following morning without power before they pulled out their generators or maybe people already had them running during the storm anticipating the power outages. I had a good feeling that we were going to lose the power but I wasn't sure when.
It is always a rare experiences where people are forced to create light inside their homes with a candle, flashlights, or lanterns. This past week I understood how much our society depends on electricity (I need it to run water since I am on a well) and running water. My father and I left the house around 6:30am on Sunday morning to find a warm breakfast, just something like some biscuits or so but everywhere was out of power and closed. We ended up at a gas station really close to where we lived and it still had power an was selling gas. There was at least one car waiting behind another at every pump there filling their cars and about three of their own gas jugs probably for their generators. My father waited for about thirty minutes just for a cup of coffee and he said it wasn't worth the wait haha. That gas station later that day was out of most of the breakfast foods (honey buns and etc.) from the scourging people looking for food.
Many people depend on the necessities of fossil fuels and electricity along with the obvious one; food.
When you lose power inside the house it makes you take a step back and look outside for something to do. On Sunday and Monday's case a lot of people were cleaning up the debris from the storm, it took my family about half of Sunday to get it up since it was minimal.
With no electricity there was no T.V. or Internet so I turned to going outside for something to do which I am completely fine by since I do a tone outside already and I am a Eagle Scout. I took the bike out which I hadn't for a very long time and I did in the following mornings rather then my usual schedule of waking up and turning on my laptop to post on my blogs. I also went Kayaking later Sunday which it was a fantastic day to go out and enjoy the earths beauty and what mother nature has brought us. I wish a lot of people got outside during their time of no power to enjoy what is out there and not always being couped up inside slaving over reality-T.V. and other shows. You need to experience what is waiting for you rather watching someones Else's experiences on the tube. It is something that I believe is a must for anyone. You should be tied down to fossil fuels to power your house all the time and electricity.
Now, for people who went out to buy generators because they couldn't last a few days without power is really tied down hard, I can understand the people that need to run health equipment or other things that are absolute need for their survival like elderly people or handicap people but many other people can survive without it and it is a true experience to just stop and have everything off.
I managed to get by fine without power or water for the last week since the most essential things for survival is food, water and clothing and perhaps some source of heat  (fire). I had a roof over my head, we had matches and an grill outside to create a fire to cook food if needed be. Water, as for water we had stocked up on bottles of water and also I have a creek down the hill that we can use to flush the toilets and such. It makes life a lot more simpler without having electricity. There is less stress and it doesn't feel like that I have a anchor tied to me. I had a sense of liberation from me. I turned from outside to inside pretty fast and it makes you truly appreciate nature when you get out there. It is truly something amazing.
It almost was like camping but rather a tent we had a house. This is how it felt when I slept in my bed with my window open bringing in cool breezes to invigorate me. Reading by candle light was interesting in it's own as well. It is hard to do being that our eyes now are so use to a light bulb light sources rather then the small light flow from a single or a few candles lit. It made my eyes droop when I tried to read text in that dim of light in my room. In the end I never got any reading done and I am still behind on it.
We lost everything in our fridge and I did have to improvise for what I had to eat which was fine. I have a disease that I need vast quantities of water if I don't have my medication (which I always have) so I could have been in some trouble.
Now, without the electricity, I had no way really to post on my blogs at all (unless I left home for school and post online there). So when I woke up in the morning, rather then feeling that need to post online and that feeling of responsibility and that habit of always doing it just all of a sudden stopping, it is quite sudden. I want everyone to know that just because of the lose of power/internet/T.V./water and such it doesn't mean you have to put a hold on your life. You have tons of doors open for things to do when electricity is on but without it there is a whole world out there that you can find and immerse yourself into. That world will never leave, but I hope that many people also understand the importance of how dependent our society and economy is on the fact we have electricity and fossil fuels creating it. In this entire passage, I am not saying that electricity and fossil fuels are bad (ok, well we really need to change the dependence of fossil fuels). What I am saying is that it is wise to understand that there is a world out there that is super vast and that you can dive in without the need of electricity at all. I am also saying that we see how much electricity influences us now and watching people freaking out about not having power and scrambling for fuel and generators is crazy. Panic can happen when things like this happen.
I also understand that as the generations continue, the more they rely on power then anything. The conveniences of having that electricity there ready to power anything that you WANT not really need to survive. I checked Facebook on my phone while I still had a charge and watched all the status that popped up during the outages about how they said it sucked without power and that Dominion (our power company in the area) wasn't doing there job as if that person was a priority over hospitals or traffic lights.It was mostly the younger crowd that had these statuses about the power and how they had nothing to do. There is so much to do without power, pick up a book read, or paint, take a walk or bike. When the power is out I feel that it can really bring out some peoples creativity. I know on Saturday during the storm my girlfriend had continued and finished her painting that she had started with me and they had power and never lost it during the entire time. I just feel that people almost can't live without the T.V. for a few hours but I know she is good haha.
Anyways I will go on with my week, I just wanted to express that you can't be inside all the time, get out and live. Please :D
So, without the electricity and the windows open at home I wake up typically the same time in the morning that I would if I went camping. 6:30AM pretty much. That is early to get ready for me in the morning and also probably another thing that would wake me up and keep me up was the loud generators in the neighborhood that were running all night and into the morning that would wake anyone up with their windows down. I would get up and go downstairs to get a drink and a muffin for breakfast and then I would go find some clothes and still have some time before I need to leave for school/work. I would take the bike out for a ride for about half an hour. I tell you, getting up in the morning and going for a walk or a bike ride is the best experiences. They say when you sleep and awake in the morning that you die and have a rebirth every time. You awake from your slumber and become more aware of what happens out there and I think ti is always key for people to get up early and to experience this. It is also when outside becomes alive, with the hustle and bustle of the animals and such.
Anyways, I would have to go to school after I got my things together.
My nights were short after I got home and it turned dark. I was to tired to stay up and read under the candle flame as it drained me out. With out electricity we carved more time into our nights and take back our sun light the artificial way. It is an interesting thought though. Farmers years ago before electricity was so plentiful had early mornings and early evenings but it seams to be the opposite these days.
I wont lie, I enjoyed these past few days and somewhere back in my head I wish I didn't get that call about having power back on at home. I can live a bit longer without, I am not sure about not having running water though that was getting to me since I had to rely on others for showers and such. It was a new way of living and I can probably tell you once I have my own place I do not think that I will still get my own generator just in case another storm comes my way. It is nice going back to the 17th century from time to time. In a few years though who knows if they start building houses that have built in generators or such or all homes have some kind of special solar-panel shingles on the roof or paneling on the side of the house. We are moving fast in technology and to what is in the future, that I will no deny but I never think we should ever forget that one day something could happen and all of it can go away. A single storm did this for a few days who knows that is out there that could cause total blackness.
It makes me think that primal living should me a mandatory class and how to live outdoors type of class should be mandatory in the public school system maybe tied into health/P.E. class. One day something could happen and there will be billions of people out there that are lost in the darkness not knowing what to do for their own survival or for their loved ones.
I think that is all I have to say about that for now, after a long rambling probably. Sorry about that but it is a lot to think about. I will probably go home tonight and watch Netflix off my Wii and I am not being a hypocrite or anything because I am aware of what could happen one day and that I am aware of the beauty  that nature has to offer and it is so much else that she can offer to all of us.
Plus I lost a week of time on my 1 month free Netflix trial which is depressing haha. I have to read a lot tonight anyways. Also I will have a meal at home tonight for once, how nice with my family in the light that we have created as a society.
Good night!

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