Become A Beacon

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Summersville Lighthouse 102020a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The tower stretches out to touch the marbled sky like a gateway between heaven and earth. Ever changing winds pluck the colors from the trees and fill the world with delightful splashes of fall hues. That familiar lamp which once stood as a sentinel against the darkness in my childhood has been given new life. In the nights before GPS the beacon guided lone pilots through starless nights and comforted young boys when it’s luminescence swept through the bedroom window confirming the absence of monsters in the near vicinity.

Now the lamp looks out over the highway and sweeps away the shadows.

My final thought for this post is that “Where there is light there is hope.” Friends, each one of you is a beacon in your own life. Stand tall and the darkness cannot resist you.

Good night and be blessed throughout your days.

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The Sentinel

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sentinel 123119” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Throughout the night the cold North wind howled has the rain battered the glass in vain. The caretaker sat in his spot as he did every night making sure that all the machinery was running to keep the light on. In his modern lighthouse the duties are simple. If the main power goes out he flips the switch on the generator to restore power. He listens to radios in case of a distress call. That’s about it. To pass the time he tosses cards into a hat or plays solitaire. Sometimes he reads or works that Rubik’s cube that he’s never figured out. But tonight was different. Tonight one of the radios crackled to life. “Hello” was all the small voice said. There caretaker sat his coffee down with a thud that slashed a little coffee onto the 3 of diamonds. He paused and gave a disgusted grimace as he saw the stain form on the edge of card. He lifted the microphone from it’s bracket mounted on the side of the radio and gave his identification numbers along with asking what emergency was taking place. “Can’t sleep” was the only reply. The caretaker realized that the disembodied voice emanating from the overhead speaker in his office was that of child. The caretaker keyed the microphone and said ” well, you’re going to need to find some other way to deal with it. This is an emergency frequency and you can’t play on it. Go back to bed and you’ll be asleep in no time. ” After a few moments of silence the caretaker returned the microphone to it’s place. He was frustratingly trying to clean up the coffee from the edges of the cards when the radio crackled again. “I think it might be a emergency” the small voice said. The caretaker retrieved the microphone and spoke again. “Why do you think it’s an emergency?” We was dubious but his job requires him to respond. “Because I’m scared and that means it’s an emergency.” The child on the other said. “Obviously” the caretaker muttered under his breath. He keyed the microphone again. “Okay. What are scared of?” There was another long pause. “The storm. I can’t see the light of the lighthouse from here.” The child said. The caretaker thought for a moment. The lighthouse was on a hill but there was taller hills around. With the storm even the powerful beacon on his tower might be obscured by clouds and heavy rain. He transmitted his reply. “I am at the lighthouse and I promise you that the light is shining. Go back to bed and you’ll be okay.” He smiled at the cleverness of how he handled the call. But then the radio lit up again. “Yes but I can’t see it.” The caretaker knew he should have thought of that. He also knew that he couldn’t keep the frequency tied up in case a real emergency occurred. He could send a first responder to check on the child but he doubted that the child could even give the address. Then an inspiration hit. “Well then, there’s only one thing left to do. I’ll need to commission a deputy lighthouse and a deputy caretaker to be in charge.” The caretaker asked if the child had a flashlight and a roll of paper towels. The child found the items the caretaker radioed the instructions to let the roll of paper serve as a tower and to shove the flashlight into cardboard tube so that light could shine out in all directions. When the child finally stopped transmitting the caretaker looked out to see that the storm had passed long before the conversation ended. All the child needed was for someone to talk him through the darkest parts of the night. As the caretaker was locking up for the day he realized that that it wasn’t really light from the lighthouse that was needed. It was the light from inside that needed to be reveied.

A Light To Guide You

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.

The Summerville Lighthouse

As I sat down to write to write tonight’s post the wind is howling on the ridge above my home. I can hear the wind chimes ring loudly in the front porch. There’s a storm on the way. That’s the reason why I chose the picture of our local lighthouse. Lighthouses are the iconic representation of hope in the storm. I can’t look at a lighthouse without having a sense of peace and security. (That’s why I incorporated a lighthouse in my business logo.) Finding peace during a storm one of life’s necessities. It helps to have a lighthouse to provide a fixed point to focus on. Metaphorically speaking, we know that there will multiple storms in our lives. We will need that beacon of hope to focus on and guide us through the fog and blinding rain. For me, Christ is my lighthouse. That doesn’t mean that there’s never a storm. But it does mean that I have a fixed point to focus on and find that peace again.

The Beacon final chapter.

I’m bringing the story to a close.  I’ve enjoyed daydreaming and writing. The story started out as a way of  drawing attention to the digital art I’ve produced and it took on a life of its own.  I’ll probably have other stories from time to time.  I hope you’ve enjoyed The Beacon. 

 

The past few weeks had been pretty uneventful.  The caretaker and his young guest passed the time with sharing chores and playing chess near the fire. Every so often the young man would take out the telescope and scan the horizon for any signs of a passing vessel.

He had been on this stormy and rocky little island for months.  Even with the supplies he salvaged from his little ship they would not have much longer before rationing was not an option.  The young man thought about his options as he prepared for sleep. He looked into the mirror as he washed his face in the basin on the far side of the little bedroom.  He thought for a moment that he heard a voice calling out.  He walked into the kitchen but it was empty.  He checked the supply room and found nobody there.  The top of the lighthouse was also void of any presence.  The lamp was lit but no one tended the flame.  Outside the window the wind howled as the clouds began their march towards his shelter.  He strained his eyes and searched the rocks for the signs of the caretaker.  Panic began to set in. He opened the glass door and stepped out to the balcony but it was gone.  He looked up into the night sky as he fell. Just before he hit the ground his body jerked and he woke up in a sweat.  The nightmares started with the fever but were growing steadily worse. He could see the sunshine peeking through the window.  He got out of bed and washed up. The caretaker was sitting at the table with the morning meal ready.

The young man wondered what the dream meant.  He had spoken of it to the caretaker before but their language barrier was still too great for a clear conversation.

As the caretaker slept the young man walked the shoreline. This had become his daily routine.  As he walked in silence he continued his contemplation of the reoccurring nightmares.  Once more he could hear someone calling out to him. He continued to walk. The voices were growing louder.  He could hear them above the crashing waves this time.  There was something familiar about the voices. The young man quickly spun around to see three men running up the shoreline in his direction.  They were speaking his language! “Hello!” He called back.  Behind them was a ship’s launch on the beach and on the horizon was a ship flying the colors of his home country.

“We’ve been spotting the light in the old tower for days but could not get a safe anchor until today.” The oldest of the three spoke.  The young man was shocked and found it hard to form a reply.  The oldest sailor spoke again, “We’ve got to hurry.  We don’t know how long it will be before the wind picks up again. ” My things are in the lighthouse.” Was all the young man could say at the moment.  The leader of the three men ordered the other two to go with him and help him carry out what possessions they could.  As the entered the cottage the young man called out for the caretaker but there was no answer.  Confused the young man began to head up the stairs calling out for his friend when one of the sailors grabbed his arm. “Sir, we’re leaving with or without you. There’s no more time.  We have to get back to open seas before the next storm.” The young man understood.  He regretted that he wasn’t able to let the caretaker know what was happening.

As they rowed for the ship the others just did their work without speaking.  They were quickly hauled aboard as soon as they arrived.  The young man was instructed to go below deck and get himself in order. His possessions were placed in storage and he was assigned a berth.  As the ship was getting underway the young man ventured back to the deck for one last look at the rocky island that had been his home for nearly a year.  There was something wrong with the lighthouse.  The lamp was out and the storm was gathering.  “We’ve got to go back! He shouted.  There’s something wrong,  the caretaker wouldn’t fail to light the lamp with weather like this setting in! Everyone just stared at him strangely.  It was then that the captain placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder.  “Son, this lighthouse has been abandoned for almost one hundred years.” the captain spoke calmly.  The young man protested and began to recall all that occurred when the captain handed him a telescope.  “See for yourself” was all he said. The young man raised the glass.  The lighthouse was falling apart.  No smoke from the cottage fire, no lamp in tower. He just stared in disbelief as they sailed on.

The young man couldn’t explain the experience. The captain suggested that he go back below deck and try to recover.  His personal surgeon would check in on him in a bit. The young man stuck his hands in his pockets as he walked due to the cold wind. Something brushed his hand in his right pocket.  When he pulled out the chess piece get knew that something supernatural had preserved his life until his rescue could be arranged.

Epilogue:

It was a full 2 years ago since the young man had been rescued.  He worked hard and saved enough money for a second one man ship.  He was able to gather extra supplies and was now beached on the island where he sheltered from the storms and helped the caretaker maintain its Beacon.

He hauled the cans of lamp oil and food to the small cottage.  It was dusty and the rooftop was falling in.  On the table was the chess set.  He returned the missing piece to the board.  He called out a few times but there was no answer.  He returned to his ship and set sail for open sea. As he looked back to island the lamp began to glow once again.  The young man whispers “I love you too father.” and returned home.