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Nights Moment on the Town

This essay is just posted to It is about acceptance, taking what life gives you. It is about making home anywhere. From Grand Marais to you. Hope you enjoy it.

We call it a power outage, but really, it is the end of life as we

know it. We experienced one the other night, an interminably

long one for many.

What to do? How do we distract ourselves when met with

candlelight or headlamps?

For some, it may be a relief, life on more straightforward

terms. We get ahold of ourselves and settle in. We talk to each

other. We light a fire. Our world becomes smaller and more

intimate as we move closer to the light.

For others, such time is the enemy. Like motorists itching to pass

on Highway 61, we are anxious, demanding, impatient,

desperate the power grid has stolen from our evening.

But what does it matter? We are riders on the storm of a

beleaguered tree across a power line, a station hit by lightning,

a wind that has broken the system. We can exert as much

control as we want, but in this modern “lights out,” the question

always remains: “What good does it do?”

Life requires our acceptance. “Make the best of it!” our

forebearers would say. Don’t “disturb the silence” with piled-up

thoughts of resentment, frustration, demand, or impossibility. It

is our task now to wait it out with grace.

Power outages are a Rorschach Test of how we function, how

distracted we are, how much we need activity, how bent we are

on movement, and how demanding we are of life in general.

There may be something to learn as we engage with quiet and

candlelight. What is it we seek? What have we become

accustomed to? How fast is the pace we demand? How quickly

have we learned to require instant solutions?

Breathe, and the night will take care of itself. Slow the rhythm.

Relax into the circumstances we find ourselves in. Even enjoy

this brief respite from internet TV and the marvel of lights.

Step back into another era when night prevailed, and the only

sound was the sound of the wind bending the trees.

Special thanks to all the line workers out there who restored our

power. And we should also mention the electricians in our town,

“light-bringers,” to our homes and community.

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