Menu Close

The Calming Effect of a Power Outage

power outage

Power outage.

No worries, the battery backup will keep me connected to the life-giving force of my existence–the internet.

No internet either?

Dammit, I have things to do.

I NEED the internet.






My digital life has come to a standstill.


In the stillness of the moment, I begin to hear sounds that are normally drowned out by the buzz, hum, and whir of electronics, appliances, and fans.

A frog in the distance croaks out its mating call.

Crickets chirp, reminding me that summer will, in a few months, fade into fall.

A finch chirps as it eats seed from the bird feeder.

A block away, children are playing, their laughs and loud voices echoing my way.

Cars, one after another, make their way past my home.

A feral cat wanders into the yard, meowing as it stops to eat from the communal food dish.

The wind is silent, save for an occasional rustling of the backyard crabapple leaves.

I wonder, why is there no power?

A huge storm rumbled through Northwest Ohio last night, dumping lots of rain and downing numerous trees. Could this be the reason the power is off?

Perhaps a transformer failed or a car hit an electric pole.

Regardless of the why, I sit here typing, hoping to finish this post before the battery on my laptop dies.

In the quietness of the moment I am reminded that the sum of life is not Facebook shares, Twitter retweets, blog comments, and emails. While I have no desire to forsake modernity and its digital wonders, the sounds I now hear remind me that life continues, with or without Thomas Edison’s greatest invention — electricity.

It’s been an hour now…

A light breeze is now blowing and the lone frog has been joined by a chorus of other frogs hoping to get laid tonight. As dusk nears, I can hear other birds singing their songs. The mourning doves have arrived for their late feeding.

I feel calm, relaxed.

I think I will read a book.

The power needs to go off more often.


  1. Avatar

    I get the same thing going to the family cabin. Even though it has people on most of the shore line, it’s a mile off of a low usage 2 lane highway. There are times where there are no boats cruising by and you can be startled by a hummingbird flying to the feeder. It’s wonderful to sit on the deck, hear the wind in the trees and read and relax.


  2. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Maybe it’s the domestic side of me, but when the power goes out I think, Hey, what about the ‘fridge? What about my CPAP? How am I going to cook dinner?

    Actually, in our home town in the ‘burbs, we have an extraordinarily good power company, run by our city. But here in California, earthquakes also happen, so we have a camping cookstove, propane, an emergency water supply, electric lanterns, etc. We also spend time in the mountains, and when we’re up there enough to make it worth our while, there’ll be a generator. Eventually, when we live there, we’ll have a solar array and batteries that can be charged by the sun or the generator. Power isn’t something to take lightly in this modern world.

    But yes, sometimes it’s nice to just relax with a good book, and pay attention to the hummingbirds.

  3. Avatar

    On the extremely rare occasions that the power goes out, the whole family comes out of their separate rooms and start talking to each other, sitting in the same room. Life becomes alive and interesting. We all become more alert to our surroundings. We might even have a conversation with a neighbor-nah, probably not. We’re pretty much an island.

  4. Avatar

    You are such an asshole. Power outages can cause serious problems for people, but at least your aunt’s Facebook posts will stop bugging you for a couple days, right? Log out of the internet if you hate it so much, you massive took.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Discover more from The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Bruce Gerencser