Friday, October 2, 2015


I enjoy the energy surge that comes from a power outage within our home.

Last night, the power went off just as I decided it was time to go to bed. Unfortunately I have the bad habit of "needing" to fall asleep to the drone of the television so suddenly I was wide awake.

My son wandered upstairs with his lantern flashlight and sat it down in the middle of the living room. He found a comfy spot on the couch and both of our cats (who normally come and perform for my son and I whenever we are in the same room) calmed right down and "fell asleep" (do cats ever really sleep?).

The calmness in the air was palpable. It was like you could reach out and touch it. But you couldn't because you were paralyzed in the moment of quiet and bliss and family and cats.

Initially, I really hoped this would be a one minute power outage so I could resume my tiredness and head to bed. But as one minute led to the forty four minutes which followed, I thought less about the power and more about the connection that had been ignited by the forces within.

My son and I have short and sweet conversations which almost always revolve around our cats. We talk a little bit about his day, my day, his homework and school stuff. But 95% of our chats are all about the cats.

As our cats nestled in and enjoyed the "camp fire" setting (the lantern placed in the middle of the living room gave off the essence of sitting around a fire) their peaceful and (almost) sleeping bodies invited other conversation into the room with us.

We talked beyond the cats and more into our lives. We talked less of homework and more of "So, how are things going?" We talked a little bit about politics and religion (or lack thereof) and my son wondered why we don't talk about these things more often. My reply? "Because I really have very little to say." He talked, I listened. As I listened, all I could think was how I would like to hear how this conversation would play out if he was talking to his older brother about these same issues. I believe I could learn a lot by listening to their interactions with each other.

We chatted about the hard times he went through last spring. He looks back and says it doesn't even feel like it happened. He got past the moment but he is very leery about setting himself up for another fall. For the first time in about five years, he has stopped "knowing" what he wants to do after he graduates from high school. He just knows he can't (or doesn't want to) jump into secondary education immediately. I fully understand and support whatever decision he makes as long as he makes a choice to do something. Work or education. Working can be an education and teach you where you do (or do not) want to concentrate your efforts.

Who knows what they want to be at the tender age of seventeen years old?

I sat down and talked with a young man last night. In the shadows of our lamplight, I was amazed at how much he looks like his older brother. As I listened to him, I was impressed by the amount of insight he has gained by being quiet and absorbing life instead of simply reflecting it. He is a very deep and introspective young man.

The house jumped back into life when the power was restored and our cats acted like someone turned on their "on" switch again. Their eyes lit up, they watched and listened to the sights and sounds of power. The "electricity" that runs between them was rebooted and they started to wrestle, perform and entertain us again.

My son and I sat still and continued to talk but the magic was gone minutes after the lights turned on. I knew I had to get myself to bed but I knew I would never regret the extended life that a powerless night brought into our home.

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