The San Francisco Bay Area has been having crazy intense winds. Some have been over 100 miles an hour, where I live they’ve been around 60.
PG&E, our electric company, turned off power for almost 1,000,000 people for two days, especially in areas where we have tall trees. These trees are known to fall when the winds are heavy and there’s a risk they’ll hit an electric wire and spark a fire. It happens.
I and my neighbors are surrounded by 75-foot trees which fortunately hold their ground. But I wasn’t surprised by PG&E‘s decision and I understand it.
In the dark without electrical power for two days and nights, I discovered a whole new beauty in life.
Every morning I wake up at 5 AM, turn on KCSM (the best radio station in the world with the very best DJs), make myself a cup of delicious and exotically rare white Chinese tea, and do my creative work. This time of morning has great spiritual serenity in it, deeply nourishing for my creativity. A friend of mine calls it my time away from “thought traffic.” But the sun doesn’t come up until 7:30 AM, the first glimmer of new light isn’t until 7 AM.
Power out … so, candles. You can see them in the photo above. You can also see how dark it is around the surrounding area, little lights way across the San Francisco Bay where the electricity is still on because they don’t have the big trees.
Candlelit mornings were beyond beautiful. Aesthetic beyond words. Extremely romantic. Not in the “boy meets girl” sense of romantic, but in the “I’m living my life with tremendous romance” sort of way.
I had never lit candles in the morning. They are a soft, gentle, dreamy way to light up the dark and gently drift into the day.
At night, the sun goes down now at 6:15 PM. I discovered headlamps. I got so excited! These are wonderful! You put them on your head, and you can walk around seeing everything completely hands-free! Way better than using a flashlight.
After dinner I’ve been taking refreshing walks at night. With my new headlamp! With power out completely on the street, and beyond into the whole neighborhood, no street lights whatsoever, no lights whatsoever, it’s a level of darkness that is powerful. The headlamp is brilliant!
I discovered a whole lot of neighbors also walking at night! All with headlamps! So fun! We look so cool!
In my excessive zeal to get the best headlamp possible, my neighbors all agree I got the brightest one on the street. But I discovered, after blinding a good number of them, that you’re not supposed to look directly at the person you’re talking to. They rapidly taught me headlamp etiquette, how to have a polite conversation by turning my headlamp off to the side, or even better, to turn the darn thing off completely for the duration of the conversation.
And I must say, it was so much fun reading in the complete dark, in bed with my headlamp, blankets piled on top because the house was freezing with no heat, 3 cats curled up snug around me, mighty winds blowing fiercely outside against the windows and whipping through the trees! Felt like a total kid in a big adventure. So much fun!
PG&E restored our power. My first thought was, “I’m going to miss my candlelit mornings!” So I’ve decided to continue them. It’s just too beautiful to let it go. Drinking tea, listening to KCSM, doing my creative work by candlelight until the sun rises in the sky. Huge pleasure in just being. Grinning.
Thank you, PG&E, for creating an experience that created a splendid opportunity to discover beautiful new sources of power.
Wishing you fabulous aesthetic moments of pure joy of being!
6 thoughts on “Candlelit mornings and headlamp etiquette”
I love this, Ingrid … what an exceptionally beautiful response to the blackout.
Beautiful Ingrid! I can just see you with your cool headlamp! I am so going to get some!
Miss you like mad!
Love you like mad too, Chris!!!! 🙂
Greatvesssy. How did you get hot water for your tea in the morning?
I meant to say ” great essay” …
Fortunately I have an antique Wedgewood gas stove!!!! Electricity was out, but not gas. Glad you enjoyed reading about it, Joe!