I have seen lighthouses on the shores of many lands, and when I think about them, one thing stands out in my memory: How very THERE they are. Solid. They’re not going anywhere. They’re not gonna budge. They’re not trying to hide. They’re not trying to fly above it, or burrow below. They’re not trying to escape the storm, or to convince you (or themselves) that there really isn’t a storm there, it’s all in your head.
I don’t know anything about lighthouse construction, but I bet if we looked into it, we’d discover that those ragged, beat-upon little buildings are a lot like icebergs – down below the surface they have the most incredible network and structure of roots – in the shape of concrete girders – holding them down, keeping them connected, keeping them grounded to the very place they’re supposed to be, enabling them to do their job.
And just what is their job? They don’t go out into the sea. There are those who do – and that is their role. They don’t predict the weather. There are those who do – and that is their role. And on sunny days, in the brightness of day, they may not seem very necessary . They’re outmoded, old-fashioned in this day of high-tech. Stuck in the past, a knot on a log. What do they do besides just sit there? Not very exciting, not very impressive. And yet somehow we’re still drawn to them. Isn’t that interesting?
No, when a lighthouse does its best work, the night is dark. The storm may be wild, the surf bold and despairing. And you know what the lighthouse does? It keeps sitting there. It doesn’t move. It doesn’t run. It just shines. Saying, here is land. Here is warmth. Here is safety. It can be yours too, if you’ll follow this light, and watch your maps, and use every tool at your disposal to navigate around the rocks below. See them? There, there, and there. Come home – come home – you can do it. The harbor is just over here, just inside the circle of safety. I’ve stood here for a long time, seen so much, seen so many – I know you can do this, because I’ve seen so many others in similar conditions do exactly that. And I also know, if you aren’t careful, if you’re moving too fast, if somehow the waves have become overwhelming and your vessel too weakened, if you can’t think clearly enough to access those tools, well, I know where that will lead. And in that event, I will still stand here, lighting the way for the rescuers who always come, who always do their best. And in the event that isn’t enough, I will still stand here, and I will witness your journey. Whatever needs to be seen. Whatever needs to be remembered. Whatever needs to be honored. I will be here. I will be.
Wherever we are today, whatever storms rage around us, now, today, in the future, may we be the lighthouse in the darkness. Solid. Rooted. Shining. Home. Reminding others of what they already know. And letting the rest go, because it really doesn’t matter anyway.
The lighthouse stands. And it is Witness. So be it, my friends – and so it is. Namaste.
And yes – I think I’ll be doing some research on lighthouses.
(C) 2015 Mary Batson, Front Porch Rambles
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