March 29, 2010

Earth Hour

This weekend, thanks, I'm sad to say, to the technology of my iphone calender, our whole family spent 8:30-9:30 Saturday night with all the lights out, celebrating Earth Hour.

Last year I totally forgot which is terrible because it's exactly the kind of thing I want to experience with my kids. And of course, I could celebrate an "Earth Hour" any time I wanted, but I'm a writer, I like deadlines. Or maybe I should say I NEED deadlines. So last week when I came across an article about Earth Hour, I put it in my iphone, with an alert (ok, two) so that this year I would not forget. And whew, it actually worked.

When the beeper went off I started grabbing candles while trying to hurriedly tell Will (oops, forgot to do that before too!) what I wanted to do. Lights out, stove off, quiet in the house, at least as much quiet as is possible at the end of a busy, sunny Saturday with two bouncy kids.

So we started a fire, because it was a little chilly outside and the light and warmth from the fire was calming and peaceful. I popped candles into old jars and new votive holders made last week. Briton got out the cards and Will brought slices of the pizza he had just finished on a big plate to the coffee table. We spent an hour, a real, honest to goodness quiet hour, playing "Go Fish" and coloring and reading to ourselves by candlelight. And it was bliss. True bliss. Which makes me realize that, as simple as our lives generally are, there is room to grow. There should be more days with candlelit card games and quiet hours. More family coloring time, which we also tried out this weekend. More together-with-no-distractions moments. Because when the TV and the computer and the lights and the stove and the house as a whole turned off, our family turns on in the most wonderful way. So here's to more Earth Hours. May the come more often and without the need for an iphone alert!

And if you like the votive candle holders, they were ridiculously easy and inspired by these vases.

Evie and I picked out a bag full of old cut glass potluck cups and funky jars and I sat out at our picnic table one afternoon while the kids played, swirling various shades of leftover yellow house paint (adding more or less white to change the tone) around the sides of the cups then left them to dry.

I love the way they glow, like little pots of sunshine, even when it's dark.