December 4, 2013

into the darkness

I wake up at the crack of dawn every morning in a bizarre missionary training that I have taken upon myself. I am up WAY before my roommates and I am able to get ready without the bustle of trying to get to class on time. Usually, I wake up at 6:30 and then promptly fall back to sleep. I shower, eat breakfast, and finish my homework. It's a pretty normal routine ...

However, this morning I woke up and something was wrong. Maybe it was the fact that I woke up without my alarm clock. Maybe I was mal-adjusted to having snow on the ground. No, I think it was the eerie silence that was in the house. I mean, usually when my roommates are asleep, it's quiet. This morning though, it was silent. Nothing was whirring, not even the heater. I didn't really think much about it. I crawled into a kneeling position on my bed and said a quick prayer and then climbed out of bed.

The house still felt funny to me. I grabbed my phone and used it as a light to find my clothes without waking up Dani. I made my way to the bathroom and flipped on the light switch. I stopped in my tracks. No light. I was starting to recognize what was so weird about the house. I went into the dimly lit kitchen and saw a horrifying sight. No clocks were glowing. Our long empty air freshener's light was turned off. Our house had no power.

I looked at my phone quickly and saw the temperature outside ... -6 degrees and dropping. I also observed that my phone was almost out of battery. I opened my laptop and saw the same thing.

Well, shoot.

I have been trying to have an adventure every day that I have been back since Thanksgiving. This has resulted in some pretty ridiculous stuff, but life has certainly been interesting. I guess this power outage was just another adventure. I walked back into the bathroom and closed the door slowly. The light from outside was completely gone ... and it was so dark that I was legitimately afraid. The darkness was oppressive. I couldn't see anything (except the static electricity that changing my clothes produced ... that was pretty awesome). I felt helpless and totally dependent on my little phone screen for light.

I couldn't use my phone for much longer and I couldn't use my laptop. I am down to all microwavable and stove top food. I really didn't have any light that I could even read from ... and even if I did, my books are on my phone. I realized this morning how dependent I am on electricity. I hardly even think about it, but this morning, I was grateful for heating. I was grateful for straighteners. I was grateful for my phone and my laptop. I never realized.

Anyway, because there wasn't much that I could do at home, I walked around campus a bit to see if I could find some power. Nobody was outside. I have never seen campus so deserted. I found refuge in the MC, but even then, there were only a handful of people. It felt like a zombie apocalypse and I was terribly unprepared. My excursion helped me to find food (a Freshen's bagel) and warmth ... but little else.

With nothing left to do, I trekked back home. It was ridiculously cold, but I didn't feel terrible. I continued to think about the loss of power on campus, but I mostly thought a lot about the loss of light in town. It was weird to look out on Rexburg and to see it totally dark. I thought about how many people walk in darkness every single day of their lives because they do not have the gospel in their lives. This made me feel incredibly sad! I now know what it feels like to be in total darkness. It is not fun. It is not helpful. It is immobilizing and scary. How is anybody supposed to function without light in their lives? It boggled my mind this morning ... but as I thought about it throughout the day, it started to make sense to me.

Maybe people walk in darkness because they don't know that there is any other way. Maybe they just need someone to show them what it feels like to walk in the light. I don't know. I think this is mainly pre-mission sentiments ... ANYWAY.

I loved the silence that came from having no power. For just a few hours, I wasn't distracted by anything besides my freezing feet. I was able to read my scriptures for a long, long time. Sometimes, I think that it is pretty great to be unplugged from the world. Not only does it serve to remind me what an awesome and privileged life I lead, but it also gives me a lot of time to just think. Bizarrely, I am grateful that the power went out this morning ... but I am also super grateful that it's back on.

How else am I supposed to function properly?

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