Sunday, March 29, 2009
A couple of years ago I happened to fly into Bali on the evening of one of their interesting holidays. I forget the name of the holiday but everyone on the island was supposed to turn off all their lights and stay quietly inside their homes so that the Gods who flew over the earth on that evening wouldn't notice them, swoop down and eat them. Fortunately the Gods had given Hilton hotels a special waiver so there was at least a bus that could take us to our hotel without fear of ending up on the menu. I was most impressed that, while some small practical exceptions were made for tourists, everyone was expected to honor the occasion. So there were no lights on in the hotel only candles, there was no music playing live or recorded, and no one was allowed off the hotel grounds even to go walk on the beach. There was nothing to do but sit quietly, watch the flickering lights of the candles, talk quietly and slow down. It was one of the very best memories I had of an entire year traveling around the world. I was reminded of all this last night while Melanie and I participated in Earth Hour. Even at our house which is in the middle of nowhere and as dark as can be at night, consciously turning off all the lights and sitting quietly with just a few candles on is an amazing experience. In fact it would have been perfect except for that one house I can see at night about a mile away on the other side of the canyon that had all their lights blazing away. I hope the Gods enjoyed their meal.