We described Earth Hour to The Boys at dinner this evening. Then we asked them if they wanted to participate. They did. We talked about what we might do. They were pretty comfortable with the idea of playing with flashlights for an hour. That left The Wife and I up to our own devices.
By 8:27 The Boy 7 was giving me the official countdown as I tried to finish up an e-mail on the computer. By 8:30 "shutting down" was on the screen and I squeezed into compliance.
A walk through the house revealed some nightlights on 8:35 timers that needed to be offed. Sometime early on I made my first real sacrifice in disconnecting the modem and wireless router...60 minutes, in the home, no wi-fi. Seriously!?! But there's seemingly important bike related e-mails flying back and forth tonight!
It didn't take long in the rapidly quieting house to discover there really wasn't a reason we shouldn't turn of the refrigerator for an hour. So we did.
Early on I considered the heat - but ruled it out as it's gas heat. But really, once that fridge is off there can be no denying the fan on the furnace is clearly run by electricity especially when it's the only non-human noise in the house. So off it goes too.
Here's the most radical thing!
Just like minimizing automobile use brings people together through more time in proximity and slower motion...the four of us gathered in the living room. It was after all where the two candles were.
Shadow puppets. Rolling over backwards. Flashlight sabers. Blindfolded stuffed animal selection. Oh yeah, occasionally The Wife cuddled me on the couch too!
Take away a persons eyes and their other senses develop to accommodate. Take away a family's distractions - other things rise up to fill the gaps.
It's Lent. Let something go. See what fills in the new space. Give something else a chance.
Happy Earth Hour. Easter is coming.