Finding stillness in an ice storm

It was a Friday evening in late December when an ice storm wreaked havoc in Toronto. Many people were left in the dark, with no hydro or heat. The majority of people were affected until Christmas Day , and we were one of those fortunate ones. Yes, fortunate.

Coming from someone who is clearly addicted to her phone, I was just as shocked as everyone when I felt genuinely happy and relieved when my iPhone battery died and couldn’t charge it up. It was exactly the forced disconnect that I needed to find stillness and reconnect; to both my family and myself. Clarity comes amidst stillness and it was clear to me just how much I needed to slow down. With no Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or texting to distract me, I really saw how good I was at “keeping busy”. I couldn’t remember the last time I sat on my couch. In fact, I could count on one hand how many times I sat down and relaxed while at home. Amidst the stillness of the power outage, I was forced to stop and reset; and it was exactly what I needed.

For 3 days, we cozied up by the fireplace, went for walks around the neighbourhood, had great conversation, read books, played, and cooked and ate by candlelight. It was comforting, relaxing and most of all, fun. It had reminded me of all the winters I spent as a child at our family cottage. It brought me back to so many great memories, and I was recreating those memories with my own family.

Yes, there were negative results from the ice storm too. Many of the beautiful mature trees had split in half, fallen on homes, crushed cars, and left many people stranded and forced to move to warming shelters and hotels. We stuck it out at home for a few days until the temperature dropped to well below minus 15 Celsius, before making arrangements at a hotel. But overall, it was an adventure that made us appreciate both the luxuries that we get to enjoy on a daily basis, as well as how vulnerable we are to natural disasters and what we need to do to prepare ourselves in the future.

I am happy to have my power back…and my iPhone – but I enjoyed every minute of the downtime. It was the perfect way to end 2013, and reset for a new year ahead, putting in perspective what matters most. Health, love and family.

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