“Guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79
“Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse.” ~ Japanese Proverb ~
Since last Tuesday I’ve felt like I have been living in a vacuum – you know that feeling of emptiness and void. I’ve had writer’s block like I’ve not had in a long, long time.
We have been saturated this past week with drama and tragedy beyond words. Add to that the anniversaries of past tragedies, a much overlooked earthquake in China and typical spring weather with tornadoes tossing people’s homes in the air like Lego blocks.
Then, I’ve been trying to scan images from the past 20 to 30 years and create a documented history of the images of my life. That went south this week with “technical difficulties”.
It’s enough to give a zombie PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)…
And, then I saw today’s picture among my digital files and the first words that crossed my mind were “guiding light”….
I have made it no secret I am enamored with lighthouses. I don’t even remember the first lighthouse I saw. It could have been the remnants of a lighthouse damaged by a storm on the Gulf Coast. But, it was enough to spark a live long passion and fascination. I’ve made it a goal to visit as many lighthouses as I can whenever I visit a location and a lighthouse is nearby. There are many stories that accompany these structures. Some are tragic and some are heroic…
Sound like this past week…
In their day Lighthouses were beacons of hope for seafarers that pointed the way to safe harbor. The lighthouse keep and his family were hearty stock who many times lived in isolation miles out to sea.
Imagine being on a small (by today’s standard) wooden ship, in the dark of night on a vast sea that is just as dark. You know ahead of you is trouble and danger…and then you see it…that steady blink…blink…blink of a light telling you exactly where the danger is. I can only imagine the joy and comfort that light offered in a formidable darkness.
Today’s lighthouse is the St. Augustine (Florida) Lighthouse. It stands on the north end of Anastasia Island.
As a young nation, one of the first things the United States did was commission several lighthouses at perilous points along the its coast. In 1824 the US government commissioned a lighthouse for St. Augustine at what would be its first location. It was place close to the location of where the Spanish had an old watchtower. By 1870 the light was facing erosion and in 1880 in crashed forevermore into the sea.
Foreseeing the inevitable, the government began construction on a new light in the present location before the old light deteriorated. The new light was completed in 1874 and lit in October of that year. That lighthouse is the one standing today.
In August of 1886 a massive 7.3 earthquake rocked Charleston, South Carolina. During the quake, the St. Augustine lighthouse swayed violently, but withstood the violent shaking.
Later, during World War II the lighthouse was used as a training station for the US Coast Guard and as a lookout position for enemy ships.
Looking back at the history of the St. Augustine lighthouse it amazes me what a remarkable allegory between that lighthouse and our nation.
It is and has been dark at the foot of the lighthouse…
It has been dark at the feet of our nation… As a nation we have seen upheaval, violence, war and erosion of beliefs, values and families. But, we are still standing much like that lighthouse…
Now, to move on and survive and for peace, we must look up…not at the darkness at the foot of the lighthouse, but up at the Light, the Guiding Light…
© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.