Tonight was Earth Hour night and I had plans for an hour of candlelight and quiet reflection. Life has been a bit manic for the last few weeks and it seemed like an ideal opportunity to slow things down a bit. No computer, no TV, no reading. 60 minutes of peaceful rumination about life, the universe and the fate of the planet.
Plans being what they are, mine got hijacked a little, and I ended up arriving home 20 minutes before the appointed hour with four bags of groceries and an urgent need for food. I learned some simple truths tonight –
- you can cook rice and monkfish in 16 minutes flat;
- it is challenging, but not impossible, to prepare a saffron mushroom sauce by candlelight
- ginger cats become invisible in candlelight, but not intangible (try standing on one and you’ll get what I mean)
I cooked my dinner by candlelight and ate it by moonlight. I swear it was the most delicious meal I have eaten in quite a while. The fact that I’m not sure what spices went into the sauce just added to the pleasure. And there was the moonlight…
The moon is a few days from full, but very bright. So bright that when clouds covered it, the darkness felt huge and the candles felt tiny. I thought about what it must be like to live without switches. No on-off, no one-zero. No control over the binary logic of the universe. Stretched my brain from revelling in the novelty of ‘off’ to wondering about what permanent ‘off’ would mean. My imagination ran away with that concept and it all got a bit big and scary for a while and then the clouds moved and the moon came back and I relaxed and reminded myself that we’re not there. Yet.
My neighbours-over-the-back-fence did Earth Hour too. I think we might have been the only folk on my street sitting in semi-darkness. Like me, they had their curtains open and candles in the windows. And like me, they left the candles burning long after Earth Hour was over.