This year I told myself I wanted to be in the moment more. I wanted to pay attention to what surrounds me. To the sounds. To the sights. To the smells. To the people. Then as if by some divine test, yesterday the power went out. It was out for almost six hours. As the sun was setting I went about the house lighting candles and then sat on the couch and looked out the 30 feet of windows that face my back yard and watched how the shadows on the leafless trees changed in the fading light. I don’t know how much time elapsed, but eventually all I could see through the windows, with the absence of street lights, was an unusual darker than dark. I then noticed how the black of the windows merged into the black coffee table and the candle sitting on the table became this illuminating, hypnotizing fixture before me. My whole world had become the darkness that surrounded me and this one candle. And the sound of its wooden wicks crackling. And the sight of its flickering flame. And the smell of its apple tree scent. And my husband reading by candlelight nearby.
In the absence of electricity my usual life stopped. All the regular distractions were gone and in their place I found harmony and quiet beauty. I found the presence I was resolved to have. And I knew happiness.
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