I can’t remember where it came from – but for quite some time now I’ve had a little tune that I like to sing whenever I catch myself in a lack of appreciation. It’s always sang with a smile, in your best gravelly-rocker-voice and meant to be a reminder of Gratitude.
Simple thing, really– a bit like the end of the old Folger’s Coffee Commercial…
“Havin' a First World Day!!!”
It’s the perfect little tag to comments like: “The internet here sucks”
“This Coffee is too hot!”
“Man – I gotta get up early to Vote tomorrow”…
Spending ten days in the town of Wells, B.C. is a great reminder of where we are and just how far we've come.
Up the hill from the town of Wells (population 250) is the Historic Mining Town of Barkerville. It was established during the Cariboo Goldrush era... think HBO's "Deadwood" and you'd be pretty darn close.
I was treated to a guided tour of the town and a beautiful hike around the area. Amazing history here. What those people went through was cause enough for a rousing chorus of "Havin' a First World Day!"
Mid-afternoon on Saturday and a massive storm blew through the little town of Wells, B.C. and knocked out the power.
Thankfully, Jules and Dirk (my gracious and thoroughly delightful hosts) have an old Rotary phone handy so they were able to call and get some info about what was going on and when the power was expected back…. B.C. Hydro was confident it would be back that evening…..So we lit some candles and went about our day pretty much un-phased. Dirk’s deadpan voice saying “without the Internet, I have no sense of purpose” had us all in stitches….
56 Hours later and the hopeful flickering of lights and the Fridge kicking back on brought us back to the world.
My usual tune of “Having a First World Day” changed to “Having a Second World Day” within hours.
(Although, none of us really knew what the Second World was – and without the internet, we couldn’t look it up.)
In the meantime, it was a refreshing and peaceful time here; up with the light to get the most out of the day, because as soon as the sun was down we were all sleepy and headed to bed. It took a good while to stop the reflexive habit of flicking on the light-switches. I giggled every time I did it.
The days were spent in the analog world. Stoking the fire, card games, playing guitar, and BBQ’d eggs for breakfast. Pretty much everything was done on the BBQ. Julia was an absolute wizard when it came to the meal situation. We certainly did not want for good food. We cleaned out the fridge and drank the place dry.
I got down to work on some painting, which was just the thing for the ol’ soul. If it hadn’t been for the power outage, I’m not sure I would have taken advantage of the array of art supplies that Dirk has handy.
It was an excellent time to reflect on just how “plugged in” we all are. And yet – we were able to manage just fine. Being surrounded by people with outstanding senses of humour is a BIG bonus. There were a LOT of laughs.
With the lights of the town out we were treated to an even-more spectacular display of stars and a dose of the Northern Lights.
On day three I had a wonderful realization as I stepped into the bathroom and didn’t immediately reach for the light-switch: Habits can be changed.
It may require an outside force to give you a bit of a smack. My Chi Gong teacher used to refer to these events in life as a “Zen Whack”. They are good things; reminders to wake up to the reality of the present.
When the power came back last night, Julia remarked that she was going to make an effort to not complain so much… as three days without power lead her to realize just how fortunate we really are. A few minutes later she marched downstairs and snapped, “that stupid street-light is back on!” which elicited a peal of laughter.
“Wow… I didn’t even last five minutes!!!”
Ah, well... give it some time and a little practice.
Habits can change.
There is much to be grateful for, and certainly it made me reflect on how fortunate we are to be where we are.
The power is back on.
The house is warm.
We are safe.
We are loved and loving.
Not too shabby.