Frozen

I received Flora early in the afternoon when she had just finished lunch with a friend of hers. I gave her the biggest bear hug I could muster then we settled down for tea and a serious catch up session. I learned that since I had left her at Burning Man last year, things had been pretty good. And for me? I admitted to her that the last few months had been a little more than eventful…and I would dare to wonder…perhaps life changing?

So I explained the story of Sebastian and I could feel her melt. It is, after all, quite romantic. Flora listened intently as we sipped on tea. Finally, coincidentally, when we both had finished our cuppas, we had caught up to our present moment and state of emotional affairs. I hugged her goodluck as she found her way to her rehearsal session for her performance that night. It was the coldest day of the year so far and the according the radio the roads were a mess.

I was quite shocked as I completed my workout while waiting for her arrival back home. I was feeling thankful to have a gym in my building as the weather was reaching new levels of craziness. On my MP3 player, I would flip from newscasts of how crazy the weather was to favorite new tunes that were gracing the airwaves. The city seemed to be freezing up and people were reacting quite frantically.

I had made my may out earlier in the evening to the grocery store just blocks away. It took me about 15 mins to make the 2 minute drive but I had to use the car as I was picking up more than I could carry in my arms. As soon as I stepped through the mechanical doors, I heard an announcement through the loudspeaker.

“There will be no credit or debit card transactions. The systems are down and it is our regret to inform you that we will only be accepting CASH at the tills.”

I stopped short in my tracks. The store was jam packed with weekend shoppers and I was shocked that this was actually happening. I smiled with disbelief at the confused and frustrated people passing me but for some reason I continued to chuck things into my basket.

After a few moments, I realized that this problem was not a momentary issue. I was about to turn around and leave when I absentmindedly dug my hands into my jeans….and guess what?

I found not twenty and not even forty but FIFTY dollars in cash!!! This is not normal and not even common…I always pay with credit card. I make a point of not carrying cash (it seems to keep me from impulse buying) but this day was an exception. I was so blessed and thanked all the forces that allowed from not stressing from such a situation.

It turned out that not just that store was experiencing this problem. It was a province wide blackout of all ATM and money machines. And it lasted for hours. It was a real problem and cost a lot of businesses a lot of money. It was crippling for many who just seemed to look completely lost and helpless. Not able to buy essentials like gas and food would really screw things up.

After all was said and done, I had to wonder: When the system fails (the system that we rely on, ultimately for peace of mind and convenience)….if deprived of our technological advances, would we be able to remember how to live simply? How would we adapt? How would we survive? Would we survive? Would you?

Today I am grateful for simplicity.

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