Monday afternoon, a storm knocked out the power. No big. The roof was still on the barn and all the trees were still upright; after the insane, roaring build of the wind, it was just a relief to see that everything was still in tact...and y'all, I'm not exaggerating. It's a damn good day when a storm blows by and the funnel cloud skirts around the edge of the property.
So the power was out, but the county's good about getting it back on, and it was daylight, so it was no big deal.
But then it didn't come back on. And then the dark came creeping in; the shadows got long and the chill set in and night fell without a single light to keep the shadows at bay. It is dark in the country. No ambient city glow. No backup generators. And if you have a well, like we do, then there's no running water either. It's just the night, and the sound of coyotes celebrating a kill; a few dancing candles, the yellow-eyed things flirting with the flashlight beams, and a vivid imagination make for an unsettling evening. The horses don't like the flashlights: they snort and stare at the woods, their eyes white around the edges.
The next morning, the sun is radiant and the sky is the color of a robin's egg, and it's hard to believe there was anything to to be uneasy about the night before.
Anyone who claims not to be at least a little nervous in the dark is, I think, fooling himself. Even if you're not afraid, even if you're fearless, there's some basic, instinctual part of us all that tells us it's not safe in the dark.