Winter Watchfulness at the Lights
The Maine winter of 2019-20 has not been overly remarkable to date. In some ways, it might even be considered a bit of a disappointment to those who love copious amounts of snow and ice, but still, there have been a few beautiful moments to appreciate.
For me, when the snow flies and the ice forms, there are few places more intriguing to admire the frosty scenes than at a lighthouse. Whatever the reason, solitude never walks alone around the lights. At these special places, stillness and a sense of watchfulness traverse hand in hand.
I know – logic tells me that the keepers and their families who used to tend the lights are long gone. The human spirit at the lights banished on the tides of time. There is no doubt about this fact. Yet in some strange way, an undeniable aura of vigilance somehow remains – embracing both the lighthouse and my heart no matter how cold the surroundings prove to be. And the lower the thermometer dips, the more profound this sense of watchfulness can be felt.
I believe this feeling of watchfulness emanates from the lofty beacon aglow, which shines bright above the sea regardless of the swirling, bitter conditions just outside the lantern. Unceasingly, the beacon’s benevolent beams pierce the frigid air and extend far out over a desolate expanse for a mariner who just might be seeking a bit of reassurance. And even when a thick snowstorm threatens to obscure the light from sight altogether, it still shines forth in defiance – because, that’s what a lighthouse does.
Even when the lighthouse conserves its radiant gleams during the day, the tower itself stands in stoic-like fashion – the embodiment of steadfast readiness for when the curtain of darkness falls over the seascape.
The notion of watchfulness is a warm one – not to the touch, of course, but for how it radiates a sense of comfort in our minds. People helping people is timeless – and the lighthouse is a fine representation of this noble concept. Therein lies the great warmth of a lighthouse.
The fact that the sentinel’s stately presence still stands tall against the storm – and its guiding light still serves those who seek it, is a tribute to all those who care about lighthouses and what they represent yesterday, today – and forever.
So let it snow – and may the gleams of a lighthouse continue to shine forth for those at sea – and on land!