Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Shining in the Dark

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save;
they just stand there shining.

ANNE LAMOTT            

Lighthouses are an image that I often took for granted growing up. They were a mainstay to guide ships around a rocky coast.  They ensured the safety of crew and passengers of a ship.  Lighthouses seemed to be a normal part of everyday living and was, I thought, a norm for everyone. Then there was a whole dfferent role of the foghorn with it's long lonely sounds that too played an all important role with the lighthouse to warn of the perils of the sea when it was difficult to navigate by sight because of the weather and reduced visibility. Lighthouses and their keepers played an all improtant role.

Lighthouses also held a bit of mystery. The one that was familiar to me in my childhood could only be observed from a distance and it was not somewhere that one ventured. Located on an island off shore of a small community it was too far away for curious childen to explore. It appeared that only the lighthouse keeper and perhaps his family members had access to the great mystery of the light and the horn. It was such a fixture to the community at large that I am not sure many of us paid it a lot of attention and I know that the foghorn just became a sound that one got used to as a fact of life on a foggy day and the beam of the light was supposed to shine and rotate it s powerful ray!

Lighthouses are fixed. They are not going anywhere, they don't get mired in the need to chase someone or something around, they just are. Solid permanent structures that shine in the darkness and through inclimate weather to offer assurance of safety. Lighthouses project rays of light and hope.

We can learn a lot from the imagery of the lighthouse. I don't mean that we need to be mired in our ways rigid and inflexible but there is somthing to be said for being solidly grounded, confident and comfortable with who we are. Not needing to chase the next idea, jump on the new wagon to see what we will do next or what needs saving. The lighthouse stands solid and firm, shining hope in all the dark corners.

With the increased busyness of life and running around that so many of us get caught up in the imagery offered in the quote by Anne Lamott forces a slow down and encourages time to consider what it is we are up to. What is so vital that we need to run around trying to fix everything? Would we better serve by being a beacon of light and hope solid and comfortable with who we are and focussing on what we are good at so that we do it exceptionally well? Are we more comfortable with a balance of some or all of it? Do we need the thrill of the "chase" or the next "big thing" to feel fulfilled? Remember, the light offers assurance of safety, hope in the darkness and sheds light in the dark corners. Wouldn't you like to play a role, no matter how large or small, in bringing light to dark places?

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