On August 14, 2003, 50 million people in North America were plunged into the biggest blackout in modern history. To commemorate this day, our city suggested that on Sunday August 13, we turn off lights, air conditioners, and other electrical devices, and live without power for one day.
So we took the challenge.
The temperature here is very comfortable, so the lack of air conditioning was not a problem. I did leave the fridge and freezer plugged in. We have a gas BBQ, and it wasn’t a regular work day, so we were barely inconvenienced at all. I was surprised at the number of times I reflexively switched on the light in our windowless bathroom. My brain and hand were disengaged by years of conditioning.
The true definition of fasting is abstinence from food. However, it can also mean abstaining from normal daily life activities, in order to devote more prime time to reflection, meditation and relationships. Denying the body its accustomed pleasures and habits increases awareness of emotional and spiritual needs of us and others.
Turning off the electricity was a kind of fast. Our normally plugged-in lives had a new perspective for a few hours and we were challenged to look for different ways to do everyday things. It was like a mini vacation…a true day of rest.