When the sun comes in I turn off the light. Amen. The round fruit is silently peeled and reflects soft morning light. Power usage drops suddenly as light switched are clicked off, across neighborhoods, cities, continents. A few variations due to mountains, valleys, tall buildings, heavy clouds, and people not paying attention or lacking windows. Exaggeration where solar panels feed direct into the grid.
At the utility, he holds his mug of coffee and sees it on the digital map: the drop in kilowatt usage all along the horizon of solar radiation. But soon the stoves are turned on, the computers, the hairdryers, and the solar rhythm is obscured again.
On Saturday a big storm ripped through and downed power lines, sending utility workers scurrying out with trucks loaded with chain saws and tools, and the customers tweeted from coffee shops across the county and generator powered devices that this was unacceptable–work was interrupted, kids could not go to school, entire apartment buildings had to be evacuated because of the dangerous dark. Please obscure our complete dependence we are uncomfortable with it. This is a developed country after all.
When a snow storm or hurricane cuts electricity to the outlets and water pump at the old timer’s house, his pulse quickens as he sinks into old home patterns. He does the circuit, fills the tub from the well, lights the kerosene lamp and a few candles, fries eggs and potatoes on the wood stove, and sits in the living room playing guitar as his wife knits in the firelight.
If I lived in a teepee or igloo I would get up as the sky lightened, do my work by the light of day, tidy up while I could still see and go to bed at dark. Except sometimes I would just start walking, listening, breathing in the sweet scents rising from the earth, seeing just enough by starlight.