Human beings don't like the feeling of dependency - it makes us cranky, so it's no wonder that many of us in my little corner of the woods have been cross-eyed for the past few days.
Irene - the hurricane-that-wasn't - came and went late last Saturday night and into Sunday morning, forcing many cancelled weekend plans (including for me a trip to Albany for a reading/signing at Flights of Fantasy) AND on top of that, it seemed to have taken our power with her as well.
It was only a Tropical Storm and not the big monster hurricane the media used to raise their viewership, but it was enough to take down neighborhoods in Northern Westchester for over 72 hours, through picture perfect sunny days, and pitch black dark nights.
Power: electricity, hot water, wi-fi. Small things. But we all realized that we were entirely too dependent on these items for our well being. Nobody wants to feel too dependent on anybody else - we lose our sense of self, and end up resentful.
We were lucky - our basement didn't flood, and no trees fell on our house. We only have a pile of branches in our backyard to get rid of.
We got through it by being together, and being in community. A friend of mine was one of the few who had power, and generously opened her home the past two nights to several families - and we all brought over whatever food we had in our fridges or freezers that we would have had to throw away. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade: we feasted, we talked, commiserated, and got to know each other better. We were all in it together.
And now that our power is back on, look at me, I'm back on my computer, hooked up to the internet. Yes, however tempting it may be to "go off the grid", I still get sustenance from having an on-line community as well.
I just wish that I could be a little more interdependent with electricity, but I have to face facts: my refrigerator really doesn't need me, nor do my lights.