No electricity: no heat, no light, no water. No computer, no internet. Quiet. Still.

Only birds calling from tree to tree. Cats purring. Neighbors’ voices, as we check in with each other. It’s 30 degrees outside, 36 in, so no frozen pipes. I mindlessly flick on the light switch to the basement to retrieve bird seed. As aware as I might think I am, I am also still on autopilot. In the geothermal cellar the temp is 44. No wonder the cat spent the day on his cushion down here.

Meanwhile the Earth rebounds. Snow clods slip noisily to the ground and trees stretch their bent branches skyward. The creek collects runoff as the temperature inches its way upward into the 50s by afternoon.

Quiet, as we adjust our activities. Listen to the morning news on the battery-powered radio. Still 700,000 without power. My turn will not be soon. Read during the day, work outdoors on fallen branches and smothered bushes to generate body heat. Cook on the outside stove and clean up before dark. Then nestle under covers for a long winter’s nap. Back to the daily rhythms dictated by Nature. It’s not so bad.

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