Summersville Lake is unique in West Virginia in that we have the only lighthouse in the state. Standing on private land the lighthouse overlooks both the lake and the Route 19. The lighthouse is recent addition but when I was a kid there was a beacon light from the local airport. In stormy weather we would see the flash from the airport and think that there was a lighthouse that only lit up in storms. We couldn’t see the actual tower. Just the beam reflected off of the clouds into the window of our bedroom. It would light up the bedroom as we slept and we knew that somewhere out there it wasn’t so dark.
It’s good to have a guiding light when times are dark and dreary. We need a fixed point to center ourselves and a light to sweep away the darkness no matter if you’re on dark foggy water, traveling on a four lane highway or snuggled up under the covers on a stormy night.
I grew up watching old black and white reruns of the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. A lot of the plot was always an analogy of the cold war but there was often the idea of an alternate reality. A world that almost identical to our own only with a few key differences. Tonight I’m wondering “what if I had chosen to do X instead of Y”? Our lives are a collection of the small choices that we make on a regular basis. So what if A gateway opened in front of you? On the other side of the reality you could see all the maybes that were the options that you didn’t choose. Would you step through? Would you really want to know what you missed? And what if by choosing to do things differently you changed the here and now? Would you have the life you really wanted? And what if I told you that every grain of sand that slips through the hour glass of our lives was it’s own little gateway to change? What if you discovered you didn’t have to change everything all at once in order to effect the outcome? What if by changing where and how the next grain of sand falls just a little we could effect the overall impact on our lives and that those changes compound into a big difference?
What does it take to make these changes? I guess it’s going to depend on what you want to change. For most of us the goal is to enhance the life we have instead of trying to replace it all together. We want to learn a new skill but don’t want to pay for a class until we see if we enjoy it. So the answer is look online and I’ll bet you can find someone on YouTube or other platforms teaching for free. If the goal is to get in shape or improve overall health the answer could be a pleasant stroll at some point in day. The hard one is a change in attitude. You have to consciously decide to alter your reactions over and over throughout the whole day. But eventually something happens and the change gets easier until you’re a new person.
We don’t need Rod Sterling to open up a magical vortex into the brave new world in order change our reality. All we need to take the opportunity as it arises and commit to the action.
As humans, we tend to be a reflection of our friends and family. We absorb into ourselves the perspectives of those around us. I’m not certain where the quote came from but I’ve heard it said that, Just as water conforms to the vessel which holds it so does a man conform to his peers.” This why it’s important to surround yourself with people who have the right outlook on life.
If you surround yourself with people that constantly negative then you will eventually become negative yourself. But, if you can find those people who rise to the challenge then you yourself will began to rise. Subconsciously you will reshape yourself to fit the group.
I’ve been blessed with the best peers that life can offer. And I appreciate each and every one of you and I hope that I reflect you well!
Tonight’s image is on the Kanawha River. Looking out over Kanawha Falls in Glen Farris West Virginia.
Sometimes when I’m talking to friends about things like fear of the unknown or just fear and doubt in general I’ll pose a riddle.
“I was afraid of the dark, but then I became the darkness “.
For the first time ever I’m going to publicly give you the answer.
When you are in a dark place there is fear and anxiety. You can’t perceive the world around you. What’s out there could be bad. It might even be very bad. You’re fear comes from your mind filling in the unknown with projections of worse case scenarios. The flight or fight response kicks in. Adrenaline surges through your blood and your ready for the unknown.
But why become the darkness? It sounds scary. Doesn’t that make you evil? No, not at all. Because a person who is in darkness casts no shadow! In order to become darkness one must become a shadow. In order to become a shadow one must leave the darkness and move into the light. If a person who is in the light is casting light, the the light is being reflected instead of absorbed. The truth will set you free but only if you drink it in make it a part of you.
The Light shines for everyone but not everyone steps out of darkness to let the light in.
The mountains of Appalachia provide a lot surprises. Common sense told me that there are tunnels here and there but I had never spotted one until the day I took this picture. As I look at the image the obvious thought is about the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a phrase that we use when encouraging a friend who’s having a tough time. But, we never really think about what the tunnel represents. The tunnel at Kimberly West Virginia was put in this spot to ease the efforts of traveling through the steep landscape. The tunnel made the path straight and eliminated a grueling climb.
The times in life when it seems like we’re in the proverbial tunnel just trying to make it to the light at the end it helps to remember that it’s a shortcut. Just stay on the tracks and keep moving forward.