How many of us have memories from childhood of a thunder storm knocking the power out in our homes? That sudden flicker and then…silence. The TV is off, the lights are out. The hum of electricity disappears.
The next step was to light all the candles available, filling the house with a dim warm glow that casts eerie shadows on the walls. As children we naturally began to giggle and scare each other while parents checked in on the neighbors to see if the phones were still working.
Inevitably a perfect kind of calm ensued. You gathered close. You began to talk. Stories swapped between each other took the place of the television. I felt right. It was simple.
Then the power suddenly flooded back. That bizarre snapping sound followed by the hum. The TV began to blab. The whole house was again bright, the clocks went to zero, and the candles seemed irrelevant as everyone dispersed throughout the house to pick up where they left off.
And always there was that sense of sadness-something important had just ended. An instinct deep in our biology said that it was right to be in the dark by those few glints of fire. It was right to be close to one another, hunkered down, waiting for the sun to rise....