The power of losing electricity


Twice in the last eight days, we’ve briefly lost power. Who knows why? All I can say is, I rather enjoyed it.

Both times, the first thing that went through my mind was basically a list of all the stuff I can’t do without electricity. I can’t cook anything. I can’t do laundry, bathe the baby, or do the dishes. Lest I sound like a complete hausfrau, I’ll note that without electricity, I also can’t write blog posts or make very important phone calls.

Under such circumstances, life quickly reduces to its essence. What is left? We can read books or play with our daughter. We can do millions of things outside: digging in the dirt, looking at trees, listening to birds, observing our chickens. (Who, by the way, run on solar power. When our lights are out, their fence is still on.)

The first outage threatened our plans to cook a pizza lunch for soon-to-arrive friends. While we waited, my husband played acoustic guitar and we sang songs together, and when our friends showed up, we all went for a walk. The second outage happened in the morning, and we used it as an excuse to sleep in. All in all, a pleasant set of experiences.

It made me think about taking a yearly or even monthly break from using electricity. Not a bad way to celebrate Earth Day, I’d say: cut the lights and see what happens. With a little planning as to food and water, it wouldn’t have to be a hardship. We’d all learn a lot without that coal-powered buffer between ourselves and the real world.

What’s your best power-outage memory? How about the worst? Would you voluntarily go without electricity for a day?