By Charlie Johnston
I have just literally emerged from three days of darkness. Early Saturday afternoon the steady week-long rain which had made the creek below a raging torrent turned into a heavy, wet snowstorm. Shortly after it began, the power went off. And stayed off. That was no biggie. It was actually kind of nostalgic. Up here at 11,000 feet, it brought a kind of silence and darkness I had not experienced since my pilgrimage, a darkness which has meat on it…a silence in which, if you sit outside, you can hear animals moving. Seriously, on my pilgrimage, when I was out in the wilderness long enough, I would sometimes go on alert for a light skritching sound only to realize it was just some bugs skittering amongst the leaves and twigs near me. With electricity, there really is no dark – just different degrees of daylight.
On Sunday, discovered we had had over a foot of new snow. All day long it would make a soft “whump…whump” as clumps continually fell from the tall pines, occasionally punctuated by a large “whop” which sounded like a car door slamming as a particularly large country of snow would break loos and fall to earth.
This morning, I got a bit nervous. It is Monday – and I expected to hear some work going on. Instead, a preternatural silence everywhere. The skies were clear – and the only two jets I saw were military (not so strange – we are less then 100 miles from the Air Force Academy – but that was all I saw). I started wondering if, Holy Cow, has it begun? I decided to go back to bed for a while, hope it came back and, if not, begin plotting a potential new course. I had scarce laid down for an hour before I heard the compressors start anew. Even so, as soon as my laptop was powered up again, I checked Drudge to make sure we were still tottering on the edge of the abyss rather than plunging into it.
I learned some interesting things in the process. I was not alone. The business I have told you about technology failing for a time? That is for our benefit – and the downfall of the schemers. I will elaborate another time. Meanwhile, I have gotten through my three days of darkness, even though I had no beeswax. (Correction – the owner of the cabin tells me there is both beeswax and hawthorn leaves here. I just was not aware of them. So the good Lord took care of me!)