Sunday, July 30, 2006

From Darkness to Light

While I was away, St. Louis experienced a major power failure. One person who found himself blacked out was Jim Armbrecht, who wrote the following "reflection."

The Second Coming of Electricity

Life without electricity was a shadow of our former life. In a hot, dark room, we crouched around the battery-operated radio with poor reception, listening for news. It was hard to see the dial by the flickering light of the candles lined up on the table. Outside the neighbor’s generator whined. Occasionally a hot breeze would come through the open window. The candles would flicker in the air casting grotesque shadows on the walls. The only relief was a cold soda from the ice cooler. Outside the street was totally dark. Life without electricity was not life as it was meant to be.

Without a warning, it returned! Bright light filled the room, the whole house! The refrigerator kicked on, the air conditioning whined, the telephone messages started to play. Light switches that were formerly dead now provided light on call. Outside, houses were now lit again up and down the street. Someone set off firecrackers in celebration.

Suddenly, our former efforts, as well meaning as they were, now seemed puny. The candles on the table, once so important, were now insignificant as they were bathed in the strong brilliance of the room lights. The scratchy radio was forgotten as we gathered around the big screen TV listening to the latest news. The window with its hot breeze was quickly shut to make way for the air conditioning. The contents of the ice cooler were quickly moved to the refrigerator. This is the way things weresupposed to work. This is the way things were meant to be. For a time that seemed like an eternity there was no electricity, but now it had come back again.

- Jim Armbrecht

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good words, Jim!