Monday, October 31, 2011

Candles

If you live in New England, you already know that the recent snowstorm knocked our power out.  Power is still out in some places.  This is what happened: an early snow storm dropped a bunch of heavy, wet snow onto the trees, and the trees, which have yet to shed their leaves, were able to catch an abundance of that heavy snow.  All night long you could hear branches cracking near and far.  A crack followed by a whoosh and a thud.  Then darkness and candles.  

   
Two nights without power, but I learned that when there is no power, there is still power.  Only the humans and the trees felt the impact of the storm.  But back to power and powerlessness.  The Stop n Shop in Northampton became an oasis of light and community.  Shoppers milled around the dim grocery store purchasing cans of soup and boxes of crackers.  You could not purchase any meat or any dairy.  All of that had been shuttled into an emergency cooler somewhere; but if you couldn't purchase some perishable items when the power lines were down—an estimated 10,000 power lines came down in New England—you could feel the communal warmth of your fellow shoppers, a warmth that is rare in New England where the people are known to be cool.  I refused to pay $20 for a scented candle, but one knock on my neighbor's door produced two stick candles and one pillar.  


My mother emailed me from Hilton Head about an hour ago, demanding pictures of the downed trees.  Sorry, ma, but I only have pictures of candles.  Your relationship to candles changes immensely when the rumor mill swirls around and you hear predictions that you will be without power or light for four, possibly five days.  You don't burn all your candles simultaneously.  You look at your stock of candles and burn only as many as you need in order to see the faces of your friends and neighbors as they sit across from you in the relative dark, sipping their whiskey.   

2 comments:

earl parker said...

I was talking with someone tonight about the young adult scenes around America, discussing possibly a couple of 20 something kids "lost in the daydream of the cities and scenes around america...." they moved from NYC to Los Angeles, and bored of all that they decide to go a bit hippie and head to Oregon. They can't afford Portland but settle in a small town with "low rent." Unbeknownst to these hipsters, so caught up in all the people, John Smith down in S.F., etc., they just settle in in a place that suffers from frequent heavy hail storms... "All we had to do was watch the weather channel before we left LA behind," the girl exclaims, "this is crazy!" Also, attempting to leave the fakeness of LA behind, all they end up encountering in Oregon is people they can't seem to keep up with: a guy that can peel a nut in a half a second, the notion of a turkey burger being a self aware choice, is only chopped down by the knowledge of lentil chop patties. "Ha...Where are you from? And take off that NIrvana t-shirt...." "But this is the northwest." "Yeah, but Kurt Cobain sold his self to commercialism." They end up leaving and try Chicago, but find the winters are as cold as horse-cock....

Zenifer Dsouza said...

Great blog.
Thanks for sharing.