When the electric kicks off, the lights of imagination flip on. From wind storms and ice storms to life storms, when the going gets dark, the highly-motivated people of the world plug themselves into a different outlet—one whose source needs no back-up generator. Creative people don’t need artificial light to highlight their talents. Their desires burn bright and illuminate their path.
My boys and I always shared stories when the power was off. Surrounded by darkness, we’d slip marshmallows onto wire coat hangers and roast them over flames from a candle. We’d play games usually reserved for car trips like naming animals that start with a certain letter and of course, tell a ghost story or two. We’d speculate about how inventors enhanced the world through new creations like Benjamin Franklin did with electricity and we’d discuss ways we could make the world a better place. Quite possibly, we raised the Earth’s very vibrations by generating suggestions on how to make that happen.
We talked about how in the Bible Joseph’s own brothers sold him into slavery and by living with integrity and interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he was appointed ruler over all of Egypt. We discussed how even though Job was stripped of his entire family and possessions, he refused to curse God and was granted double what had been taken from him. We read famous quotes like Joseph Kennedy’s, “When the going gets tough the tough get going,” and speculated on how faith is crucial to overcoming the darkest storms. Even mini-storms can blow our breakers and zap our energy, making it difficult to see our surroundings.
Recently, I needed recharged so I took a break from book promotions. I hid off-the-grid and walked the beach—alone. Never having braved an ocean stroll in solitude, I felt like I’d been birthed into the world completely grown—like I’d been plopped onto the sand of an alien soil. No one had ever gotten to know me and I had never loved a soul. I simply existed and along with the sea gulls, struggled against the wind.
I thought about how some people had engaged their struggle and made an indelible mark on the world—how they had traversed the darkness in their own lives before shining that hope into the lives of others. People like Ghandi who braved jail and assassination attempts because of his conviction of peacefully opposing government policies. People like Eckhart Tolle who suffered through depression, dropping out of society in despair for over a year while he wrote what was soon to be the inspirational best-seller, “The Power of Now.”
Through storms, we become resourceful. We stimulate our imagination and consider possibilities we never would have thought of if the power had stayed on. We see the sunrise more vividly because of the dark. Brilliant fireworks, shooting stars, the spark from a magical kiss—all seem more spectacular against a dark background.
After about a mile I reached the pier, thankful that the wind was now at my back and I could reap the benefit of the effort of my every step, rejuvenated at the thought of gliding for a while on the rails of my dreams and knowing that we each make the world a better place by stoking the coals of creativity burning in our bellies.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. Access more at soundcloud.com\lifespeaks.