I’m writing with only the soft crackle of burning wood and the occasional creaking and popping of my wood burner pipes expanding in the background. Oh, and the now ever present background growl of generators echoing through the woods. I’ve gotten used to that hum over the past seven days without power.
I’m contemplating “quiet” tonight. My family is safe and warm at my sister-in-laws house. Thank you, Slater family, as well as numerous others who have been so kind this week with food, offers of shelter, warm showers, child care and outlets to charge devices.
I’m alone at my house. My fire has been burning non-stop since Monday at 5 pm. I’m keeping it going. And making sure the house is ok. And making sure Dawkins, our chocolate Lab, has some company, too.
Sweats, warm fire, a still warm cup of WaWa coffee (decaf) and an Asian pear, curled up in bed with my trusty iPad. And trying to shut off my brain.
What is “quiet” to you? What is solitude? Here is a great Susan Cain piece
For me, “quiet” is a good place, comforting. Right now, alone in my house, in a definitely quiet environment, I’m taking the time to write out some thoughts. And none seem to be connected to another, just sort of random. It’s like the day is running through a sieve, some stuff to keep, others wash down the drain. But it’s a useful exercise for me….just….contemplating.
No power for 7 days has made me a bit loopy, very displaced. It’s amazing how much we take for granted. Being able to have fresh milk, for example. Or cooking. Or flushing a toilet. Taking a shower. Washing clothes. Reading a book without a spelunking headlamp on. Watching television. You know I haven’t seen the news since last week?
But at the same time, I feel like each day has weirdly become more focused, less distractions. It’s planning where to shower, where and what to eat, how are we going to take care of the girls, are they clean, relatively happy and engaged. Load more wood into the house, make sure there is enough on hand to keep warm. Basic “stuff”. Then darkness falls and it’s like shutdown mode. Occupy the brain for a little bit then try to sleep for a few hours, wake up, check the fire, make sure everyone is safe and warm. Catch another hour or two of sleep. Then it’s morning again.
That last paragraph made me realize how freaking tired I am.
So, back to my main point of quiet. Quiet to me is energizing. Quiet allows me to talk to myself. Sort things out. Then mix it all up again. Search. Explore. Engage my mind. Stay interested. Quiet recharges my brain. Quiet is a cool thing, and I know that sometimes, “quiet” isn’t quite understood. For me though, like right now as I begin to get sleepy, quiet just seems perfect.
And quiet is something I’ll never be able to explain, although perhaps I clumsily tried to with this post. And, as Riley likes to say, “I’m ok with that”.
I’m going to blow out the candles now. Put two more logs in the fire and try to gently turn off my brain. Goodnight generators, goodnight Dawkins, goodnight cold, cold evening. Goodnight bloggers, wherever you are. Thank you for letting me share a little.