May 9, 2013

Light by sound

We lost power this evening for nearly an hour and half. To confirm that it wasn’t just us, we stepped outside and heard the sound of our neighbors’ generator. It kicks on automatically and can run for a long time on propane.
A rain shower had come through, but no thunder. I called the electric company and learned that it wasn’t a widespread outage. A crew was on the way, but they weren’t sure how long it would take to get us back online.
There was enough light for a brief walk around the cove. In case you’re wondering, the mosquitoes are here and hungry. In the damp air as the darkness filled the woods, they found us delicious. We made our way along the dirt roads and paths. At each turn, we could hear the low hum of the generator and knew the power was still off.
Our neighbor, a retired dentist who served in the Korean War, has a flag in front of his house. He keeps a light on the flag all the time, even on generator power. Now at twilight, the flag stood bright and strong.
We returned from our walk and settled in to whatever it is that people do when there’s no electricity. Sandra lit the hurricane lamp and we talked. In time, the lights came back. Outside, across the cove, our neighbor’s flag waves gently in the quiet light.