Thursday, December 20, 2007
This afternoon as I sat talking with my mother, the lights flickered and went out. Through the curtain the feeble gray of late afternoon was rapidly fading into the darkness of night. Unfolding myself from my armchair, I padded into the bathroom to retrieve a candle and lighter, along with one of my oil lamps. These two I lit and we watched the flickering flame as it steadied and lit the twilight with a soft glow. We sat and talked in the candlelight. As I looked out my window, the only lights I saw were tiny, flickering candles in neighboring windows and my imagination was taken back to a time I have never known when neighbors saw flickering candles in one another's windows, when the corners of a room receded into shadow. The room grew colder. We have no alternate heat source, so without electricity we are reduced to refugees seeking shelter with friends as the heat drains from our house. Tonight, though, the power wasn't out that long. We went to Arby's for dinner and when we came back, the lights were back on; the heater happily spilled warmth into our rooms. In a way, though I miss that faint, flickering glow of soft candlelight. I might just turn the lights back off and sit in the peaceful glow of only candles.