Friday, December 30, 2016

Darkness and light

At 10 am on Christmas Eve we headed to the airport to collect Crash, fresh off his run as the Ghost of Christmas Future in Christmas Carol (and tech crew for same).  Before we left, I tossed all the towels — kitchen and otherwise — into the wash.  We retrieved Crash from the clutches of the airport, and returned home to decorate the tree.  (#WarOnAdvent)  I went to turn on Christmas carols, but the computer refused to start.  Was it unplugged?  Ah, the light was out in the back, too.

I headed down to check the circuit breakers.  Uh-oh, the basement is dark, too.  Washer and dryer?  Dead, dead, dead.  And not a single circuit breaker is flipped.  Uh-oh.  And the internet is out.  All together half the house is out of power, though thankfully not the circuits on which the oven or the furnace rely.  Shall we  try to find an electrician on a Saturday that is also Christmas Eve?  The first 24/7 place I tried turned out to be not quite as 24/7 as you might think.   But a local company was still open and sent someone.  (He suspected it was not the interior wiring; I call PECO, our local power suppliers, who begs to differ.)

He was right, it was the power lines to the house, so nothing he could fix. I call PECO back, wending my way through layers of menus. (We've been watching Stranger Things on Netflix - the menus remind me of the membranes that separate the parallel universes, sticky, hard to get through.)  We eventually get into the queue to be repaired, after I assured them that we'd had an electrician out who could verify the issue was in their lines, not ours.

Meanwhile my tech crew strung extension cords from working sockets to light the tree, and power the mixer and on we went, decorating hearth and tree, making dough for sweet cinnamon buns and crisp hard rolls.

A people in darkness have seen a great light, proclaimed the lector at the vigil Mass at which I was serving.  I wondered how much light we'd have when I got home.  Not much as it turned out.  My merry men had dragged a floor lamp into the back room and were playing a rousing game of Carcassonne.  PECO had arrived moments before and the lights went off in the whole house.

The lights returned after a while, and suddenly, in the east, there was light.  Two lights actually.  A people in darkness were once again linked into the universe, or at least the interwebs.

Once connected, we didn't fully plug back in for a few days, until Crash departed, even though we could.  No TV or movies.  We played games, we ate, we cooked together, we read.  We laughed and talked.  And ate some more.

Today is the feast of the Holy Family.  Crash has gone back to work on a new production, and I'm still thinking about light and darkness and family, the Nunc Dimittis gently playing in my mental background and this gorgeous detail of Simeon holding the infant Jesus, dancing with light on my desktop.

This version of the Tallis Scholar's singing Arvo Pärt's setting of the Nunc Dimittis is worth a listen.

We are finally back up and running, thanks to the work of three different PECO crews, a tree trimming crew and my own crew.

1 comment:

  1. Have we not all had similar experiences with "service" providers on a holiday when we have house guests?! For me, it was the day before Thanksgiving (years ago) when my out-of-state mother, sister, and two nephews arrived at my home to a bathtub and toilet backing up with trees, roots, and ground cover. I love the way you make this situation into a spiritual experience. Thank you for your practical and profound reflections this past year. I look forward to reading them in 2017. Happy New Year to you and your family. Doris