The power went out yesterday in Southern California. It was creepy for a little while, until all the neighbors started coming home early from work... we all inventoried what we needed to eat up, who had enough propane in their grills, whose stoves were gas so we could boil water, we even strapped on the headlamps and made snickerdoodles in our gas oven! The next thing you know, everyone is noticing how bright the moon is, and we're having conversation... that isn't distracted. A few glasses of wine in we took a walk around the neighborhood.
People were out on their porches, grilling as well, outdoor table sets that probably hadn't been used since the first day they came home were lit with candles. Even random conversation was taking place. We were swapping pieces of information we'd all gathered from here and there and confiding in each other that this was actually kind of fun.
Aside from making a list of all the things we were going to pull from the fridge when we risked opening the door for 10 seconds, it was actually very calming.
In our group at least, cell phones were on their last bars... and word was spreading we wouldn't have power until late the next day. At first, it was almost uncomfortable, innate to reach for that phone every few minutes only to stop yourself, realizing you really shouldn't waste that last bit of battery just to check the news feed on Facebook.
It was a sad reminder for me, that I've become too engrossed with all that. I like to keep up on exciting events in my friends lives, but sometimes I find myself so involved with everyone elses... I forget to experience the ones in my own.
A really great guy I went to high school with committed suicide a few days ago. On the outside, he was one of the happiest guys you'd ever met... and everyone agreed... according to the hundreds of wall posts that have popped up over the last few days. But "liking" someones status isn't the same as a smile or a pat on the back in person. A comment on a picture isn't the same as re-telling the story behind the picture... and getting a genuine reaction. Changing a status from "engaged" to "married" isn't quite the same as witnessing the vows in person.
My friend Mike was well loved - but I'm afraid the words on the screen on his Facebook page aren't enough. It's more important to be...here. now.
I found myself distraught this morning that I pulled the last straw from the box to put in my Xenergy. Until I realized, I hadn't drawn the last straw at all....