Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Storm Lamp

Last evening was a brutal night for storms in northeastern Mississippi. It was expected, as Saturday proved to be a hot and extremely humid day with intermittent sun with a strong cold front approaching from the west – the perfect ingredients for a stormy night ahead.

As the front approached, the storms began. Winds, torrential rains and the most spectacular lightening I have seen in years - a nearly constant barrage of lightening for nearly an hour. Needless to say, the hills of Itawamba County went dark with the loss of electricity and it was time to bring out the storm lamps – lamps that have been used by my family for many years past.

There’s something about the quietness without electricity and the smell of lamp oil burning that is nostalgic. It seems we are now accustomed to man-made sound, whether it be from the television, radio or computer. Illumination by lamplight for my parents was the only light available during their early years in the hills of northeastern Mississippi. This was before TVA came to the region. Folks read by lamplight, did chores by lamplight and visited by lamplight.

After a little over two hours sitting by lamplight after the storm, the electricity returned and I was a happy person. I had endured all the nostalgic lamplight I wanted for awhile.

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