As many know I run a retail store. It is in an older part of town and we periodically suffer from power outages. Some may last only seconds, although we have had those that lasted days. It is very difficult to run a store with no power.
It happened again today, we lost power for nearly an hour. But, something caught me a little different about this one. I don't really know why. It was morning, about 9am. The light was bright and we had a clear sky. Then, BAM! No power. The way the building is situated, the front faces north but with a large windows the light cascades about half way into the store. It drops off quickly and the rear is lost in a hollow gray.
With our alarm systems not receiving power. there are quickly beeps and chirps echoing throughout the stillness. The sounds will not fade until their battery power begins to die and then there is silence; total silence except for your breathing. What little sound you do hear is echoed throughout the building.
This has happened many times since I have been at this store but today, it was different. At one point walking up the main aisle, I had a sense of loneliness. The thought that struck me was the men of Apollo 13. It made me stop. I listened to the sounds of alarms, the stillness of all else and the fading darkness as light could not reach all places. Now I have seen the movie several times and watched the documentary. Both were gripping, but for some reason today, I began to appreciate just a little of what they may have felt like.
I can't explain why; I was in no danger, no peril; I was safe and calm in a familiar place. Perhaps it was the alarms, the retiring light and the stillness. There was just something about this time, this place that gave me a new-found respect and admiration for the men who traveled to the moon and almost didn't make it back.