The other evening I became a Mini-Electrician (self-titled due to quarantine)! Impressive, I know. It was possibly the most delightful task of this week at home. How, you may wonder, did I earn such a profound and unique title? Well, I successfully completed a rewiring project, which earned me the title “electrician;” however, it's the only wiring project I've ever completed, hence the “mini.” Since nobody was around to debate it, the title stuck!
Several years ago at a garage sale, Sarah, who helps put the “twin” in Twinflower, picked up four 4-foot fluorescent shop lights. They are functional and the perfect size for our new seed-starting set-up. Unfortunately, the lights are so old that we couldn't get full spectrum bulbs for them as they are no longer manufactured and likely to burn
the house down. In researching different options, we learned that we could rewire the four old fluorescent lights, remove the ballasts, replace a couple parts, stick the wires in new places (technical terminology), and then safely use full spectrum LED grow bulbs. Armed with wire cutters, a leatherman, an Alaskan-made beer, and an instructional video, I set to work. After some minor hiccups and the occasional expletive, I finished the first light's rewiring and tested it. It worked! With the confidence from one positive outcome and “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann's Earth Band playing in my head, the other three lights were easier, and the project was a success. We now have repurposed the old shop lights, keeping them out of a landfill, and we use significantly less electricity with LEDs. Mother Earth and Twinflower are delighted together.
In these pandemic times, it can be hard to see the *figurative* light. There are so many things in life that are out of my control: income, housing, community restrictions, future life plans, etc... If I focus on those things, I feel overwhelmed. It's important to remember that there are things we can control that can bring us delight. For me, that's a healthy diet, daily meditation, exercise, caring for seedlings, and finding completable projects or tasks to work on. Additionally, as a budding business, Twinflower’s path is unclear and evolving rapidly, but we move forward knowing that we can use this platform to contribute to our community.
This rewiring project was a reminder that I can learn new skills, make progress in the midst of uncertainty, and actively celebrate success. We have to learn to let go of the many things out of our control right now and, in turn, focus on and cultivate gratitude for those we can. The success of these grow lights will be exponential as the seedlings that germinate under them will become future food and medicine for the community and provide opportunity for us to spend time outside connected to Mother Earth. Similarly, delight and gratefulness are mental seeds that, if nourished, will take root in our minds and bodies and carry us and our communities through these uncertain times.