I'm a lonely lighthouse, not a ship out in the night
I'm watching the sea
She's come half-way round the world to see the light
and to stay away from me
There is a shipwreck lying at my feet
Some weary refugee from the rolling deep
Ah, could you lose it all and fall for me? --"Lighthouse, " James Taylor
Why are we fascinated with lighthouses?
There are few things more beautiful and noble than a lighthouse...its very existence aimed at saving lives. Lighthouses are the stuff of romance, of danger, of history, and as such, they are fascinating.
Today is National Lighthouse Day, so I decided to pay tribute to this ancient and lovely structure.
Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational systems.Lighthouses go all the way back to ancient Egypt and Roman times. Probably the most famous lighthouse is the Lighthouse of Alexandria,on the coastal island of Pharos at Alexandria, Egypt. It was built more than 200 years before the birth of Christ, and is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Lighthouses also provide spiritual symbolism. Scripture urges us to be "a light on a hill." An old gospel song, "The Lighthouse," compares Jesus to a lighthouse:
I thank God for the Lighthouse
I owe my life to Him
For is the Lighthouse
And from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me
That I could clearly see
If it wasn't for the Lighthouse, tell me
Where would this ship be?
|Photograph by firefighter.kevin on Flickr|
I leave you with Nickel Creek's "The Lighthouse's Tale," a hauntingly beautiful song.