Thursday, January 29, 2009

Beauty... going outdoors at night, with ground crunching under your boots, and looking up to see a lacy shawl of ice between you and heaven.

Thousands of black threading branches are encased in shiny, shimmering sleeves of the finest ice. They weave together overhead to create a canopy more delicate than the finest lace. It is not fuzzy frost, nor puffy snow, but sleek, graceful ice.

Tiny pellets of rain beat against your eyelashes and cheeks, where they peek out from above your scarf. The drops sound so wet when they hit the ground - how can they create this frozen wonder all around you?

Neighbors' outdoor lights cast weird upward shadows. Tiny sparks of light repeat from a thousand surfaces. The night sky is black - very black - against the silent traffic-jam of reflected light. It is a wonderland.

But in the morning you realized that beauty is the sun hitting those branches - though it is diffused through clouds so thick you could almost walk on them. Clear ice is frosted on so many branches, one behind the other, on dozens and dozens of trees, that the clearness becomes whiteness, and all above you hangs a mist of white, so light it floats.

Millions of icicles are forming everywhere - the undersides of branches, the porch railings, the van in the driveway...even the power lines.


We were without power for 7 hours yesterday.

I loved it.

I curled up - with an extra layer of clothing on for warmth - near a window, and read, sewed, and wrote letters by the light of that reflecting ice. Mom read history aloud to my siblings, nearby.

Lunch was cold. Supper was hot stew, baked in our camping oven. Eaten around a table lit with a kerosene lamp, it was lovely. I was almost sorry when the lights came on, at about 6:30. I was looking forward to huddling under the blankets in our rapidly cooling bedroom that night.

Almost sorry, but not quite.

After all, it is nice to be able to check one's email, sew with one's sewing machine, and cook on one's stove top.

And sleep in warmth.


Alethea Jordan said...

We had it out for 26 hours. Not fun. Our indoor temperature went down to 50 degrees! BRRRRR......

Everything we have is on electricity, and it was NOT fun. =P

*Anna* said...

Oh Amber, 7 hours is not bad! Last year in a MAJOR ice storm we were without it for almost *5* was NOT fun! :) But thankfully we do have a generator so we had water, a few lights, and the computer. :D
Enjoy reading your posts...keep em' comin'! :)


Amber said...

Alethea, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your power-out time as much as I did mine!

Anna, no, I didn't think 7 hours was bad at all. But if it had stayed off for 5 DAYS my patience might have been sorely tried! Do y'all live way out in the country, or was it just a really bad storm? Oh - and thank you for the encouragement. That means a lot to me!

*Anna* said...

Hey Amber!
To answer your question, I guess it was both. :) We DO live "way out" in the country on a farm (we are so, SOO blessed!) and it was a REALLY bad ice storm, I think it was one of the worst for thankful I am that THIS years ice storm wasn't as bad and we didn't lose power! :)

Blessings to you today~