Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Who Turned the Lights Off?!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Turned the Lights Off?!

Well, we did it; promptly at 8:30 we powered down for an hour of, well, darkness. My husband and son are already headed off on to the cabin, where my daughter and I will join them in between ballet rehearsals; she has a friend over so the two excited girls and I darted around hitting all the switches. 
I did wish that I'd located the flashlight before turning them all off; a quick call to Jim confirmed that he had, indeed packed up the reliable ones for the trip. So, we lit candles. Then, we thought, how magical, we'll go outside. The entire neighborhood was lit up; one house a few doors up still has Christmas lights dangling from the eves. Huh. Apparently they didn't know about the Hour of Darkness. I felt the sting, a tiny dart of disappointment, as I wondered - to myself - if we could really make any difference. 
But I'd seen it pop up so many times on Facebook, in posts and videos... Then it occurred to me that an entirely separate consciousness exists, that being tapped into this community of bloggers - the artists, writers and creatives - who stay connected via the internet is every bit as meaningful and real, regardless of whether or not it's physically next door. So, I finished the hour meditating, listening to the myriad noises that are barely audible without the distraction of darkness. 
At 9:35 we turned a few lights back on, blinked and thought, well, we did it. My friend Kym called and said we'd already made news. Turns out the Washington Post had already published the Sunday edition with an article citing the 4,000 participating cities in 88 countries across the globe. No dollar amount has been tagged to the savings of an hour without power; the hope is that the effort, up from 400 cities last year, will capture the attention of the Obama administration. That if America takes a stronger stand on Global Warming the world will follow.
In reports on CNN online and Google news, the AP has published photos of the world's most notable landmarks - all with dimmed lights - from the ancient Giza Pyramids, to Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Washington Monument, Golden Gate Bridge and Times Square. And then, of course, our house, tucked in a historic neighborhood in downtown Lexington. 
I'm grateful to be part of this community, and while passers-by might have wondered at the flickering of candles in our foyer, I think we were definitely on to something!  

1 comment:

Karin said...

Hey Patti,
After writing about it and posting a link to it in my side bar for over a month, I nearly missed it!! My husband and I had turned on a movie at 8, and I started to doze... yikes! at 8:45 I hop up and went racing through the house like a mad woman flipping switches. I got them all off, and kept them off till after 10, to make up for my faux pas, despite my husband's eye rolling and teasing :) I, too, looked out to see what was happening in the neighborhood, and directly next door on one side I saw the lights out and candles bobbing by the windows, while on the other all systems were same old same old, and across the street every window was ablaze...
Next year I think I'll make a concerted effort to have us join together - perhaps host a lights out gathering, or ask one neighbor to join me, then pass it on and see how far up the street we can get the message to catch on. It's worth a try... anything can happen. I talked to my dad yesterday, and 2 weeks shy of his 76th birthday he has informed me, his 20 year vegan daughter, that he has become a vegetarian! ANYthing can happen!!

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