A Refocusing by Child Grower A. Woz

seenoevilRight in the middle of watching the best Disney channel repeat ever, a shocking thing happened. The house went completely still. Power outage.

Some powerline crisscrossing the star filled night sky of this rural town, had been forced down, by the weight of the ice and the winds that chilled and convinced even the heartiest of the winter loving natives to abandon activities and bundle up with family while gathered around a fireplace stocked with logs split by someone who still considered necessary workout equipment to be an axe instead of a lanyard with an access card to the local gym. 

No hummm of the DVD player, no squeaking of the fan on the computer, no bubbling sound from the fish tank, just complete silence.

In a way it was a beautiful refocusing. A rare opportunity to rethink life as we know it and a wake up call to never take for granted the busy expectations that come with the sounds and of the electric world that shapes what we do and how we communicate every day.

One little guy, sharply interrupted from his tired play-worn stare into the television that was preparing him for dozing in his bed, groped his way across the living room to reach his mom.  She was speaking softly, soothing and steady,  completely opposite the broadcast that he had been watching,  and she was calling with outstretched arm and a steady voice that met him halfway. She drew him close to her hip and together, they babystepped across the room to the junk drawer, which thankfully, had been emptied of most of the junk due to a Grandma’s visit the previous weekend.

Several tiny flashlights were recognized by fingertip touch and handed to tiny hands seeking light and perspective in a small cozy home that now seemed larger than a field ready to be plowed and planted with some farmer’s grain of choice, his livelihood, his bargain with mother nature for his temporary earthly needs.

The flashlights were lit and then the candles were found, and scattered in important places like kitchens and bedrooms, the places where people find themselves when they seek the comfort of others and peace from the demands of the world that lives outside of a home’s walls- the walls that create the family routines, the order, the protection from the intrusions of the world, the creation of the separate world that is borrowed and controlled for a short time by living beings pretending to be masters of this supply and demand universe.

In stillness, the decorative candles and wicks were lit not for their scent but for their flickering flame and ability to cast the darkest shadows to the far walls and light up the eyes of small children as they began to see the simplicity of an evening determined by togetherness instead of the remote. The matches were carefully tucked into their space in the farthest of cupboards, hiding from little hands, these unnecessary tools that had been replaced by the light switch, abandoned except for silent nights like this one.

No phones, no Facebook, no American Idol tonight. And with the stillness, each could now feel the weight of a busy day inside foggy heads and could recognize the call of their tired limbs that needed a bed or a book. 

Singing softly, one of the girls made up a song and its tune felt right, better than any new hit on the radio, lulling everyone toward pillows and blankets and the sweet slumber that comes with all members of the family sharing one big bed. Limbs and teddy bears, long hair and pointy elbows, all nudged and jostled their way into cocoons of warmth and silence. A little dog jumped up on the monkey pile and turned its three circles before settling into the crook of a little leg and everyone yawned through the blessings and gratitude that were a part of the words for the letting go of the day. 

The glow of the candle was safely put to sleep without even a birthday song and the obligatory wish before the puff of air.  It had served its purpose, had lit up the land that this family called home, had done more than add ambiance, had done its duty.

The family all sighed, turned or squiggled a few more times, some held a tiny hand in a large one, tucked a fleece under a chin, stroked a cheek of a growing girl, patted that mop of hair that crowned the youngest adventurer.

A satisfied smile played across the face of the oldest daughter, originally reluctant to give up her late night computer game, she accepted the change and resorted to counting the deep breaths of her father who lay already sleeping, his body making the new sounds of the night, the sound of safety she took for granted whenever waking before the birds or the dogs wanted to start the next day.

Without a need for padding down the stairs or crawling into his safe daddy arms, she had been made aware, during this night of no light, the true sounds of her little world, the security of relying on her own little family.  United in darkness with scores of children, across the globe, who trust that bedtime begins with the setting of the sun, who know that the learning starts with the dawn of the next day, she realized she would not be called to the morning by her buzzing alarm, now silenced but blinking in the darkness.

She sighed before drifting off, almost ready to forgo the dreaming, so much was she looking forward to the bright sunshine blazing through this darkness.  She knew she would squeeze her eyes tightly against its warming wake up call and then steal the last snooze, but would then give in to the golden morning sun, throw the covers back and bounce herself out of the night and into the new day. 

### A. Woz – Child Grower.

3 Responses

  1. Gotta love it! Great photo too.

  2. Well that’s a precious moment. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Reblogged this on ChildGrower Blog by Annita Woz and commented:

    Originally posted in 2009.

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