The house was in full flow!
In my study I was busy answering emails, next door my son was again multi-tasking – this time playing on his XBox, talking to a friend via the game as well as talking to another friend on Skype and relaying the conversation. The mind boggles! Downstairs hubby took a few moments for himself, catching up on the football. A normal modern evening.
Ablaze with light our house was a beacon of busyness. Then CLICK!
Darkness. Utter and total darkness, the darkness of our fears, the darkness of our fore-fathers, the darkness of old.
Silence. I’d forgotten how the two went hand in hand as the total shocked silence fell on us all. As one I imagined us staring, or rather not staring, at our black blank and silent screens.
I reached for my phone and its torch app when another click heralded light. I sighed with disappointment as the bright glare once again invaded our home. The manic whirring of the external drive irritatingly loud.
We were plunged into darkness. Again! My heart leapt for joy and I took a moment to savour the peace and quiet. Downstairs I heard the mutter of ‘where’s the torch?’ followed by the crashing of objects in the cupboards. Of course I knew exactly where the torch was but this moment was too precious to rush.
With further mutterings of ‘I’ve found it’, I headed to my son’s room, led by the thin ray of my phone light. Unmoved he sat on his bed, a bemused expression on his face, lit by the bleak light of his phone, a light attempting but failing to penetrate the blackness.
I went to find another torch, one of those Science Museum ones and by pumping the bar a stronger beam shines the way.
In hushed tones we started to become organised. With candles in nearly every room anyway (I’m Swedish – enough said) I started to light the ones upstairs. Downstairs there was the habitual mumblings of ‘where are the matches?’. I know they’ll be discovered soon enough and remain quiet.
The house started to glow. It was if the crazy pace of the evening had hit a brick wall and now the real us was allowed to step forth and take its place. The spiritual peace weaved itself around the rooms, a mystical gossamer veil descended upon us.
I placed three candles in my son’s room. Two large church-style candles were lit in the bathroom standing on the windowsill altar.
Soon we gathered in the living room, the soft gentle candle light casting its own original display of shadows. For a while this was just perfect. We sat and watched the flickering candles, the flowing hues of darkness interrupted by the wisps of light. This was just enough. There was a spiritual silence and almost reverentially we fell upon it, absorbed it into our being. Gradually conversation ensued; quiet and calm with our minds stilled by the ethereal aura.
Even though the house was warm we switched on the fire and I slid onto the floor like the child that lives within me and beside me my son stretched full out on the carpet. This was good. Doing nothing together.
After all, those emails could wait until tomorrow. My son texted his friends of the events and said he’d see them in school and as for the football, well, that could wait.
For that evening nothing seemed more vital and fulfilling than being. Being together without distractions, our faces lit by the warmth of candles, the soft-focus of life returning.
I blessed the blackout – I just hoped it didn’t last too long!
‘Silence is sometimes the best answer.’