Friday, February 12, 2010
An hour for the earth, and each other
Last year, there seemed to be quite a buzz about Earth Hour. The concept is to turn off your lights for an hour, to demonstrate support for reducing energy use and minimizing human impacts on the environment.
Of course, it takes WAY more than a commitment of an hour a year to actually make an impact, and changing your food and transportation choices are some of the most important changes you can make on a daily basis to reduce your carbon footprint.
But what struck me about it, when T. and I participated last year, was not the effect on the movement to reduce climate change, but instead the impact on our relationship. With no lights on, just candles, there really wasn't a whole lot we could do other than sit on the couch and be together. We really do try to pay a lot of attention to our relationship, but this felt different.
We took it a step further and turned off all electronics and unnecessary appliances, with one exception--our stereo. We thought about the fact that, before electricity, people really had to be together in a very different way, once the sun goes down.
We have recently decided to have a weekly Earth Hour. Every Friday night, I make a quick dinner, something easy, like a big salad or leftovers. We turn everything off, again, except the stereo, because we love jazz in the background. We light candles all over the house and dine by candlelight.
Once we finish dinner, we usually move to the living room and just talk about whatever's on our mind. We might just chat about what's going on at work, or things in the news, but often it gives us the space to dream about the future, reminisce about the past, re-visit our goals as individuals or as a couple, and always to feel deeply grateful for the life we share. It's also a lovely transition from the work week to the weekend.
Tonight we had a little bit of excitement. We have 2 cats, and generally each of them chooses a lap while we sit and relax. Today our cat Alex was rather skittish, and she jumped onto the coffee table where we had small tea candles. Now, we've had those candles lit a million times over the years. But tonight, Alex waved her bushy tail, as she does when she's feeling annoyed, and it caught fire! Faster than we could grab her, it went right out, thank goodness!!
So, tonight our Earth Hour ended with the smell of singed cat hair! Fortunately Alex is just fine, though a bit startled.
I highly recommend a weekly Earth Hour...just remember that bushy tails and candles are not a good combination.