The power is out for the 3rd time in recent history! And I’m about to blow my lid over it.
The first was that 36-hour marathon when the house dropped to 48 degrees. The only actual causality was the fish but other contenders were my sanity, my sense of control and my actual patience.
The second time was just the internet but let’s be real—that’s a large percentage of daily functioning in the modern world.
This may seem like dumb luck on one hand but on the other it seems like run of the mill Northwoods Wisconsin living.
It made me wonder how many other people have to deal with this reoccurring nuisance and how they eventually get used to it.
The US Census Bureau tallied just under 250 million people in urban areas, which capsizes the 60,000 rural population—defined by communities less than 2,500.
In other words, 80% of the US population is urban and I only assume power outages are less frequent or intrusive in those areas (please correct me if I’m wrong)
It made me wonder what the city folk think. What do you have to deal with?
I tell you when I visit the city (which I do love to do) my sensory overload fills up pretty quickly.
In the wake of COVID we saw 100’s of city dwellers flock to our neck of the woods. Some for safety, some for convenience, and others for nostalgia or the romantic dream of life in the woods. There is something idyllic about the quiet life. Something nostalgic about the ruggedness of it all.
I think we’re all a little desperate for life made simple.
But with it comes some hazards of trying to operate in modern living. When the power goes out there is a very real sense that even as we try to enjoy a more distilled lifestyle, we are still reliant on many aspects of the modern world.
Today’s power outage was weather related again.
Trees were down all over the path on my morning walk, which was an attempt to regain some semblance of grounding.
Rather than being cut off at the trunk or pulled up by the roots, the trees were weighed down drooped over the path.
It was actually quite beautiful.
Each branch was coated in ice and layered with thick snow. It felt like a perfect metaphor for life—especially these days. So weighted down by all the “elements” the path is blocked.
But as I watched my dogs frolic and pounce and tussle together, it dawned on me that this is what living here is all about.
It’s simple pleasures such as the beauty of how the elements impact the environment.
It’s the realization we need very little to actually survive.
It’s the insight that we as humans have less control over things than we like to acknowledge.
Even the country bumpkins are not immune to missing these things.
Being connected to a device sometimes means I miss what drew me here. )And don’t get me wrong, this is not a high horse stump speech about extraditing all technology. Some of my closest friendships are maintained on Marco Polo) But rather a reminder that when the power’s out, I have an opportunity to turn on my presence to those simple things I love so much.
A Therapist who should know, but doesn’t