Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are You a Lighthouse?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

I toured a lighthouse a few summers back, not intentionally, but because the tour guide happened to spot my husband and I during a lull in visitors and coaxed us inside for a look around. We climbed a dizzying number of stairs while he gave us his usual spiel--how supplies for the structure had been transported by ship around the cove, being careful to avoid the dangerous currents and rocky shore. He went into detail about the light itself, and described the fellow who weathered forty-something winters at the assignment.

I thought about life on that damp hill, and how the beautiful view must have faded in time, like every scenic wonderland does, once you see it a few times too often. And I wondered, what would drive someone to give all those years to sending out a signal to people he'll never meet? Was he ever tempted to leave and become a farmer or a plumber or an elevator service man?

Anyone who would stay that long, season in and season out, had to be committed to something greater. He must have found his calling in warning ships and fishing boats away from storm-churned inlets. He felt purpose in the results of his labor. And maybe, just maybe...he saved a life or two without even knowing.

Lighthouse people are like that. Maybe you know a few yourselves--special folks who look after your well being without lording it over you, like the neighbor who shares her garden vegetables just because, or the friend who checks in on you when you're sick. It could be someone who has lived several decades longer than yourself, who leans forward in her chair by the window to share an experience that may help you bypass a serious mistake. Could be a teacher or coach...a parent or protective older sibling.

And could it be that you're a lighthouse person, too, and don't even realize it?


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Poddys said...

Great post, I really liked it. I am going to have to try and keep up with your blog.

Seedplanter said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the kind comment. Glad you found your way here!