What I Learned When the Lights Went Out

Small plane + high-voltage power lines = ???

Berenike Schriewer, Ph.D.
3 min readDec 2, 2022


Photo by dhahi alsaeedi on Unsplash

A few days ago, the lights went out around me.

I wasn’t the only one affected. Around 100,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness.

The power outage lasted for many hours. This is very unusual where I live.

When I went outside, I noticed just how dark it was without any electricity. It’s never this dark here, in the Metro Area surrounding the powerful capital of the US.

It took a while for the details to emerge.

Turns out, a tiny private plane carrying two passengers had crashed into a power line. Miraculously, they were alive and awaiting rescue.

After gathering some tea lights for later use, we all decided to nap for a while.

When I got up, it was still dark. But slightly less so. All the wonderful people who spent their Sunday night working to solve this issue had succeeded in getting power restored in some places, those that are the most important to infrastructure.

We weren’t part of it.

After a few hours without electricity, we started to get concerned. The heat was out and even though it was warm for November, winter was coming…

We also couldn’t easily leave since our car was stuck behind the electric garage door.

I ate some cold cereal for dinner and decided to pass the time by going on a walk.

Outside, I had the most unusual of experiences: when I turned to the left, all I could see was deep, deep darkness. When I turned to the right, familiar warm lights gave me reassurance.

I was also happy to see that one neighbor whose elderly parent I was concerned about had already gotten his power back.

Eventually, pretty close to midnight, the lights went on for us with a bang, illuminating our entire living room. The heat powered up.



Berenike Schriewer, Ph.D.

I love helping people overcome their struggles and have a joyful life. Professional wizard (I mean, coach…) who used to be a lawyer: workyoulovecoach.com