It is somewhere around 3 a.m., and something brings me to wakefulness. I rub my eyes and try to get the contact lens-less blur to form into a picture as I stare at my alarm clock. I blink and blink again and then realize the clock is blank. Our room is completely dark. The power’s off.
I groan as I reach to set my iPhone alarm so my husband doesn’t oversleep for Sunday School. Mine is already set for 45 minutes later.
I lie there, at first a little annoyed by the second late-night power outage of the week. Then I joke with Larry (who woke up from the iPhone’s glow) that it was a shame the power hadn’t gone out earlier on Saturday when we were watching our favorite college teams lose their respective football games. He chuckles and then returns to sleep.
His breathing seems unusually loud. There’s no refrigerator noise, no dim electronic hums underlying the night. In the silence and the thick darkness, I listen to his measured breathing and realize how very blessed I am.
A couple of weeks ago, I started to keep a gratitude journal, taking a few moments each morning and evening to write three things for which I am thankful. My hope is to frame each day with gratitude, expressing thanks for the abundance of blessings that can so easily be taken for granted. (Hello, Dawn! How about when the power stays on?)
In the stillness, I picture my hand writing in my Tardis-covered gratitude notebook…
1) I am grateful that we are safe and dry in our home. As I think this thought I am reminded of our many friends who were suffering the effects of Hurricane Joaquin. I also think of those who don’t have homes or who don’t have safe homes.
2) I am grateful for the power crews who aren’t at home, warm and snug in their beds, after the lights went out at 3 a.m. They had the power back on before morning, and I am thankful for their hard work on a sleepless night.
3) I am grateful that the power outage was temporary — that I live in a world of modern conveniences where I can use my smart phone to back up my alarm clock.
My gratitude journal is teaching me to focus on what I do have rather than any perceived lack and to think of others before thinking of myself. As I snuggled back into my pillow, the words of poet William Wordsworth lead me into my dreams.