Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rainy days and Country Life

Last night, after strategic planning broke up, I wound up back in my office for a few moments. After a short conversation with my communications officer on vestry, I fired up my computer to check emails. One of my "cleanup" things I do as I leave the office for the day. Like straightening up the desk, clearing voicemail, etc., those moments allow me to put work to rest. At least that is the intent.

But, with country life comes challenge. We have had several days of rain, and a couple of thunderstorms. Normally, in the civilized world, that just means that we stay inside, stay dry and warm and weather the storm.

In the country (Bucks County is country, despite its increasingly suburban appearance) when storms come things happen. The power flickers, and often goes out. Phones pick up odd static. Worst of all, DSL too often withers and dies. Silence. Electronic silence. The buzz and pop of post-modern life grinds to snail-pace. Perhaps, even, to dial up!

That happened last night. Nothing over the wireless hookup. Nothing at work. Nothing at home.

Silence. Now, we still had power. There was still light and heat. But, that convenient and expected pipeline of information that we all have become so used to was simply not there. All the lights were on, yet the signal was not getting through. Interesting metaphor.

Now, I grew up in the country. I remember filling the bathtub with the last of the hot water to keep the house above freezing during prolonged ice storms when the power and furnace died. I remember retreating to the basement for days when the brownouts meant that the summer heat was NOT going to be abated by the now-evanescent air conditioning. I remember, once in South Dakota, being just missed by a tornado. The baseball sized hail dented the heaven out of my car, and I survived...But the funnel cloud a couple of miles away and too close just missed me.

And hear I am, complaining that my internet ISP is not easily accessed. Oy, vey is mere!

So, rainy days and country life. No matter the little inconvenience, they give us the opportunity to let just a little bit of life's challenges to comfort slide off our backs. No DSL? No problem. Turn off the computer. No lights? No problem, go to bed early. Oddly satisfying inconveniences, don't you think?

At least, as long as the baseball-sized hail doesn't arrive. I don't like that stuff. A bit TOO inconvenient.

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