“We are creating and encouraging a culture of distraction where we are increasingly disconnected from the people and events around us, and increasingly unable to engage in long-form thinking. People now feel anxious when their brains are unstimulated.”
~ Joe Kraus
There was a huge storm here at the farm on Saturday afternoon. The Black Cockatoos came to tell me, riding the stiff breeze that ran before the bruised clouds as they shrieked their message.
Not long after they sailed over my head it began to rain. And then to bucket down…
The driveway became a river. The wind was ferocious. I’d planned to do so much work, but the power went out so instead my husband and I found ourselves eating dinner by candlelight and retreating to the soft embrace of our bed where we listened to the rain and the thunder of hail upon the roof.
It poured all night.
When we woke the next day there was sunshine and silence.
Hail had left a litter of leaves strewn across the lawn, and there were branches down everywhere.
The power was still off. Our home phone was dead. The internet was dead. And our mobiles couldn’t pick up a signal.
No matter. We cleared a path to the road and headed to the beach for a bracing ocean swim and then a good breakfast at a favourite cafe.
Within 24 hours the power was restored. But still no phone, and the mobile signal was so weak that we had to walk up the hill into the orchard to get any sort of reception.
By Monday afternoon we had our home phone back on, and one iffy bar of mobile reception, but no internet. And we still don’t. It will be the end of the week (fingers crossed) before our fried roof-mounted antenna and wireless modem are replaced. Our old phone line, installed in 1954, will not support even the most rudimentary of dial-ups. For now the modern world has retreated, and we are living in a pre-technological quiet zone. No radio, no TV (that’s our choice and I like it that way!) – we’re unplugged!
To write this blog post I climbed right to the top of the hill behind my house yesterday and used my mobile to get some sort of service, which is patchy at best. While I waited an eternity for my files to upload I lay in the grass on a blanket and read a book or watched clouds.
This morning I’ve hiked up here again to send this post out into the world. It feels quite symbolic – as if my blog post were coming to you by carrier pigeon!
I’ve caught up on some sleep this week and written thousands of words, planned a new herb garden and had many swims in the ocean or dips in the pool.
And it’s still so quiet…
I’ve missed you all, and I’ve missed being able to download and respond to emails and facebook messages, but gee it hasn’t been all bad!
I’ll leave you with the sound of my Black Cockatoo friends, who have visited every day this week. I had walked out into the paddock to record a meditation and then the storm rolled in so fast there was no time to do anything but walk home again. You can hear Harry barking and yapping as he leaps feet into the air to try and catch a Black Cockatoo. There’s the growl of thunder and my footsteps in the long dry grass. It’s only a short recording. Just click on the button below to listen:
The cockatoos are still here with me this morning. I wonder what other adventures their presence heralds for me?
Thinking of you all, and sending much, much love, Nicole xx