Here are some “light bulbs” that went on for me on Saturday March 23, 2013 when we turned off all the lights in our home for one full hour. Ok, all except my daughter’s night light. There are some things I just can’t mess with.
1. Candelight creates a space for conversations to go deep. Really deep. Maybe it’s that feeling of being half-hidden, or the dreaminess of watching flames flicker that allow for that. I’m not sure. Whatever it was, I am truly grateful for it, and that much lighter.
2. I could easily go to sleep at 9 pm. Or earlier. I actually already knew this as I have been known to take advantage of my children’s 8 pm bedtime and my husband’s night time sports commitments. When it’s quiet, and dark, I can sleep. 9 pm seems to be a magic time for me, and yet most days I ignore it, ignore my body, and stay up to watch a show with my husband. Or read until my eyes burn. As enjoyable as those activities are, I don’t think my body wants to engage in much past my magic time.
3. Some people get fidgety in the dark. I like the dark. I crave it and require it to refuel. Some of my best ideas come to me in the dark. (When I need to solve a problem I either jump in the shower, or crawl into bed with my blankets over my head. Both work.) But my husband took a little while to ease into the idea. He did it for Mama Earth, of course. But wouldn’t consider it otherwise.
4. Even with the lights off, there were a lot of energy-suckers still plugged into Earth. Couldn’t help but be reminded of this as the fridge hummed and the dishwasher hissed. I could hear BC Hydro‘s powerful line, “Energy doesn’t come from a hole in the wall” amid all the electrical appliances I was suddenly aware of. I’ve used that line countless times when reminding my children to turn lights off when leaving the room; never have I felt the enormity behind that statement as I did during Earth Hour.
5. One hour a year doesn’t feel like enough for me. Actually, it frightened me a little how big of a deal Earth Hour had to become in order for people to turn their lights off. 60 minutes. I must be able to manage that more often than once a year. What if we made it part of our Sunday night routine? Like, the kids go to bed and for at least an hour we recharge in the dark, and let Earth do the same? That could work in my home. What about yours?
What did you learn during Earth Hour? How has it inspired you to make changes in your energy consumption? Leave a comment below and share your story!