I am officially in a state of submission. I found a beautiful white cockatoo feather on the golf course this morning when I was out walking, and I carried it home to symbolise defeat. I give in. Give up. Yield. I'm overwhelmed. Because I have for the moment lost a dear and old friend: Electricity.
Like most dear friends Electricity and I go way back. Since I was born, actually. We do things together all the time. I have to admit they’re not always fun things (washing and ironing), but I try to make up for it by doing fun things on other days, like brewing coffee and making cheesecake. Sometimes we play music. Electricity fancies Van Morrison’s gravely voice and she belts out a good Radiohead number. When it’s very hot, as it has been, she does things without asking. She keeps me cool. Electricity makes ice, and turns the fans. She’s so unselfish. And she’s a wiz at keeping the Loved One and me cool at night...When we're asleep.
Have you ever tried to sleep at night when it’s 30 degrees, there isn’t a breath of wind, and the humidity is sitting at 90%? It’s not fun. And I don’t know about you but I’m not nice to be with when I haven’t had enough sleep.
On the weekend we copped the tail end of cyclone Oswald, which had been battering far north Queensland, and popped in here just to remind us who was boss. And we had incredible winds, and torrential rain that drove in sideways. Everybody was so busy clutching on to the roof above their heads and worrying about flooding and insurance to look out for Electricity, and, well, she got hurt. She collapsed in the gutter in a mess of wires and curled herself into the foetal position. It’s been four days and counting... four days...and she’s still like that. She hasn’t moved. I think she’s in a coma.
I can’t fix her because I don’t know enough about her wounds. She needs at least one specialist to check her over. She might even need an operation, I don’t know. I’m waiting to find out more. But in the meantime I’ve realised how much she means to me, how much I’ve ignored her and taken her for granted; how much she does for me that I don’t even begin to acknowledge. Electricity’s a powerful life-giving force. A quiet achiever. And it’s clear that I need her in my life.
Need her? I can’t live without her.
I’m hot and bothered. There are no cold beers, or chilled wine. Damnit, there’s no ice water! I can’t iron the Loved One’s business shirts. I haven’t got clean sheets and you know how much I love clean sheets. I can’t put on the TV to distract myself, or use the internet. (Right now I'm sitting in the Loved One's office; bless him.) I can't do my banking. Or keep my milk cold. And I can’t straighten my fringe… Stupid how ridiculously important that last one is but there it is I just don't feel right with a curly fringe.
So I’m going to remove any sticky notes I have on my fridge door. Any magnets, any dumb signs telling me I’m a great cook. I’m nothing without Electricity. And I’m going to stick my white feather to my fridge door. And only my white feather. As a sign of my love. My respect. And I’m going to leave it there to remind me every day never to take Electricity for granted again.