I had a rather low moment on Saturday. As I’ve mentioned the weather has been dreadful and Ireland has been battered by a series of storms (with yet another one arriving – on the 175th anniversary of Oíche na Gaoithe Móire, the ‘Night of the Big Wind‘, which was so ferocious it got its own title).
A person can easily get overwhelmed by the bad news and start to observe obsessively the activities of flood plains – as if any one has any control over it!
I’ve been managing to keep a lid on this, but late on Saturday evening the fuse in our house blew. A terrible time for it to happen – the shops were almost closed, with the prospect of most of them opening late the following morning because it was Sunday. We made a race to a big chain hardware store and purchased a new fuse in the nick of time – only to return and discover it was the wrong one.
This is the moment when moods plummet and arguments happen. Temperatures outside were dropping below zero, the house was rapidly cooling, and we were hungry.
I headed out into a dark and cold night to drive down back roads to the local Indian restaurant to purchase dinner.
I sat, waiting for food, and glumly considered the events of the evening and the prospect of a long night without any electricity of heating. Right in front of me was this image:
Just at that moment I dug my hand deep into a pocket of my bag, and the tips of my finger brushed something metallic wedged in the crease at the bottom. I fished it out: it was one of my favourite earrings. I had discovered its partner some time ago, and was resigned to the fact that I’d lost its companion. Now, I realised I had a pair again.
That small discovery was enough to tweak my mood into a more upbeat one. I looked across at the hearts in the picture, and I considered all that was positive in my life.
I was facing a cold, dark night, but it was in a house, and in the company of my husband and dog. That little cheery incident gave me the ability to take a step back and get some perspective on the problem.
And playing scrabble by candlelight after eating Indian food is not a bad way to pass the night.
The next morning we were able to sort a new fuse and all returned to normal. Once again I felt grateful for electricity and the comfort it provides us.
And by today Saturday’s problem seems like a silly inconvenience and a minor tale to relate.
It is hard, while in the midst of what seems like a difficult drama, to get the perspective necessary to judge its relative importance. In all likelihood, most incidents will fade quickly into dim memory.