Rod Dreher

So said Nora, my three-year-old, gazing out the window shortly after she woke up this morning. She meant, of course, blizzard. I’ve never seen a snowstorm like this. Man, that wind! Idiot Roscoe loves loves loves the snow, and is too busy romping around to get his business done before I freeze slap to death.
It’s gonna be a long day. Let’s just hope and pray that the power doesn’t go out, because I’m not Patrick “Grizzly” Deneen, who did this when his lights went kaflooey. Excerpt:

During the day it was better to be outside, beginning the daunting task of digging out. By nightfall the neighborhood was dark and silent, but for the cracking of branches. It was then that in most houses the cold began to pierce. But in our house, outfitted several years ago with a wood-burning stove and well-stocked with firewood that I’d split throughout the course of the year, we were warm and comfortable. Candlelight was in abundance, and we had a good stock of food and drink for the duration.
And so we welcomed into our home some families in less comfortable circumstance. The women cooked a large pot of chili while the men and boys played a raucous game of “Apples-to-Apples.” By the flickering of candlelight and next to the warmth of the woodstove we ate our bowls of chili – never had warm home-cooked food tasted so good – with wine and beer adding to the cheer. After dinner the children played hide-and-seek in the darkness of the house, while the adults conversed late into the dark, cold night by the warmth of candles and burning wood. We tasted there the origin of human communities, pulled together by the shroud of darkness and the comfort of fellowship amid the cold and silence. The voices of companionship and simple flickering light brought more cheer than the recessed halogen lights of a renovated kitchen and a flat-screen TV with seven hundred channels. The utter necessity of simplicity made one conscious of small blessings like light, warmth, food and fellowship.
And several times we asked each other – why does it take the absence of electricity to bring people together like this? Could the very thing that makes our lives so easy also be that which makes it so much harder, particularly in encouraging our separation into our private retreats? What of our children, who for that evening were well satisfied with simple board games and ancient forms of play, when otherwise nothing can content them other than the hyper-stimulation of electronic media?

My sister Ruthie had similar reflections when Hurricane Gustav knocked out power for over a week in their town.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus