Staying at a Lighthouse
I find these long ago comments by Henry Clay Barnabee, an American singer and actor, to be quite insightful. Staying at or in a lighthouse is an experience like no other. And one need not be a lighthouse enthusiast to feel just how special these places by the sea are – and how purely lighthouses speak to the heart.
Having personally spent a number of overnights at Little River Lighthouse in Cutler, I can attest to the realities of Mr. Barnabee’s contemplations. There is solitude, weather, sense of place and a renewal of the spirit – and then there are a myriad of feelings that simply defy words of expression.
Henry Clay Barnabee can take it from here…
“If there is one place on this earth that I have never been in and that I have wanted to visit and to stay in over at least one night, it is a lighthouse. I have never been able to imagine anything so fascinating as to sit at the windows in perfect serenity and to watch the ocean ebb and flow and to note its varying moods of storm, wind and perfect calm – to watch the caressing waves as they foam upon the rocks as if to hold them in close embrace – in the moonlight, to see the heavenly orb as it emerges from the deep where the sky and waters meet, and, as it rises, leaving a trail of crimson or silver over the ripples of the restless sea – and in the tempest, when the Supreme Will that ‘plants its footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm,’ is manifesting His majestic strength and power, to see the gigantic waves as they come rushing with thundering roar and mighty force, as if to sweep the beacon light and its foundations into the caves of the ocean! And through it all to feel the certainty that the light o’erhead was shining out over the angry waters to warn the watchful mariners of danger. There is a sublimity in the whole picture, too deep for any painting.” – Reminiscences of Henry Clay Barnabee, 1913