What is the draw of lighthouses? Aren’t they past their time? Why are we still drawn to them? What is it about that beacon of light that still pulls us in? What is it about a building that continues to speak to us?
I spent some time this past weekend visiting lighthouses with my sister. They were all over 100 years old. Some were retired, and some were still operational. Some were in disrepair, and some were restored. Yet, I found them all beautiful.
I think that lighthouses are a strong symbol for us. They literally are the lights in a storm. They exist to help and guide you to safety. To remind you that you are not alone. They are an eternal visual symbol of hope. Hope that you can get to shore. You can weather the storm. You can complete this leg of your journey. Don’t give up.
I did some internet sleuthing on lighthouses, and I found this on Reference.com. “Because they are constructed to withstand powerful storms, lighthouses are frequently depicted as symbols of strength. They are also used to symbolize shelter, protection and peace for the same reason. Lighthouses expose the connection between inanimate structures and human emotion in a way that few other buildings can.”
And yet for all their guidance, sometimes the ship crashes, the boat sinks, and there are injuries and casualties. It’s a reminder that life is hard, there is heartache, and things don’t always work out as planned. But we notice that the lighthouse will still stand, and its light will still shine. There will be a tomorrow, and life will go on. When we survive a “shipwreck” we acknowledge that unexpected disaster can strike. There are no guarantees of smooth sailing in life.
I think that lighthouses remind us that hope and light will continue to exist. Lighthouses may become non-operational, but the idea of their guiding light lives on. The guiding light is faith. And faith’s hope and light are eternal. Who doesn’t love a forever light?