Saturday is “Earth Hour” starting at 8:30 pm. The idea is to turn off power and switch on climate action and, if you want, have a social hour off-grid. At work, we have a contest for how people are celebrating Earth Hour, and ideas range from running to camping in the backyard to candlelit dinners and gaming nights to meditation. While running is a good one–something I may normally do–Saturday is my 10K program finish and I’d rather do the 60-minute run in the rainforest next door during daylight. So I am going to use my daughter’s “hippie reading space” ideas as incentive to finish my own solar-powered reading area this weekend and have it ready by Saturday at 8:30 so I can read not only off-grid during Earth Hour but have a place to read off-grid all year round.

The space is on our back deck, which so far has two lounges and a picnic table. There are also some solar-powered tiny dragonfly lights out there, but they are very dim (though pretty). I will hang bigger solar-powered lighting out there.

The space will be outside in nature, a place where I won’t be distracted, and a place of solitude. I envision reading during soft rains or soft breezes rustling through our cedar trees out back, with plump blackberries edging the fence from the empty lot next door in the summer. I can already feel the sunshine and warmth around me, accompanying me on the many reading journeys I will take.

Items Needed

  • Hammock or other sitting area (check)
  • Solar-powered lighting for ambiance (check)
  • Solar-powered phone charger for reading Kindle books (check)
  • Solar-powered reading light (on order) for reading print books
  • Umbrella to attach to sitting area in case of rain (check)

I plan to build this, have it ready to go, and read minimally for one hour to test it out during Earth Hour.

I have found that in this day and age of screens, I really am not into being online as much as I was a few years ago. I like to write, so still use computers for doing that–and I’ve met some really cool writers and have become part of some networks online that deal with eco-fiction–but I am not the type to have a screen up too often, definitely not the big social media type outside of the stuff I do for my press. I long for getting outside, in nature, to read. I haven’t done it enough though. I am still catching up on a lot of books I have gotten from used bookstores as I’ve built a home library. But I don’t read like I used to. Earth Hour will give me that solitary space and incentive to really read more all year, and do it off-grid, outside, in an area that will inspire me as I get back to imagination-building.

By the way, today’s run was beautiful. Check out this sunlight!


One Comment

  1. Hi Mary, this has given me an idea for a blog post on the same subject ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll link to yours…. Enjoy your hour of reading solitude!

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