First let me say this is not the blog post I thought I was going to write. I had planned on writing about the notebooks I’m using now, some pens and inks I’ve discovered, and a new way of journaling I’m trying. I’ll save that for next Sunday’s post because a) I’m exhausted by the week’s events and b) every writer knows that what comes out when the fingers start typing is usually better than what one planned anyway.

I find myself thinking about generators and propane of late, as we’ve had two power outages in the last two weeks, once on Christmas Day and once on Jan 4. Both outages lasted 24 hours and even though we were much better prepared for the second one, there is still that feeling of detachment, of disconnect, that being “off the grid” creates. The modern world is so dependent on electricity – and it is good to be reminded to be grateful for it. So many do not have it, or only have it for a few hours a week. First world problems to be sure, but it is frightening all the same. One comes to rely on one’s friends during such times, and we have amazing people around us, who sent messages to check on us and welcomed us into their home, cats and all, when we didn’t know when the power might come back on and in the face of plummeting temperatures. Hats off to the amazing ground crews of NS Power, who got the power restored for 130,000 customers in less than ideal conditions.

Thursday night the 140 km/h winds kept me up until 5 am, when I was finally sure the roof was going to stay on. I held our cat Halley to try to calm her down, and listened to the wind batter the house. The windows rattled with each gust. I could just make out the tops of the trees, against the backdrop of stars and moonlight, in their furious dance. We spent Friday night with friends and it was the perfect antidote to the stress of the night before, a kind of peace that comes with old friends, good, simple food, and laughter.

We believe the power came back on Friday night, and we were back at home early on Saturday afternoon, just in time to prepare for some friends coming over that evening. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, that the lights were on, my oven worked and my tap responded with fresh, clear water when I turned it. Little things that are so easily taken for granted, until they can’t be.

So here’s to friendship, neighbours, and sharing food and drink; and here’s to light in the darkness, may it always find us.

Happy journaling.