As a hurricane approaches, essential goods and commodities vanish. First, water disappears off stocked shelves. Then, it’s the gasoline; red plastic coverings hang on gas pumps. And, of course, when the hurricane finally hits, electrical grids are damaged, which can strip residents of power and cell service or even make a transformer explode, turning the whole sky into an eerie laser light show.
It’s a strange thing when the power is out. The luxury of air conditioning lacks, and reaching into the refrigerator for a snack is discouraged because the food will spoil faster. On top of everything, we must replace the hours normally spent on social media and television with something else.
If your situation was anything like mine, you hunkered down at home and spent the hurricane with family, swapping Internet for conversation. Chats spanned a whole gamut of topics, from my mother’s childhood growing up in Nicaragua without electricity to methods to increase air circulation through the house without risking mosquito bites.
Hurricane Irma took lives and, at the very least, inconvenienced many. But the days plagued by bad cell reception and no power allowed those who were lucky to spend time with family and friends.
There is a certain tranquility in disconnecting from the outside world. The world of politics and potential war with North Korea vanished. The storm forced us to spend time together without distraction or interference.
There is a certain beauty in having enough time to play Monopoly with younger siblings. There is even greater beauty in conversing without either party checking Twitter or Instagram.
What mattered lay right in front of us – our home and each other.
Kevin Bustamante is a senior majoring in political science and creative writing.
Featured photo courtesy pixabay user jnusch.