Saturday, October 3, 2009

Light the Candle

The Light is out tonight.

For the first night since we got here in February the Light does not shine out over the water. The bulb will be replaced in the next day or two but for tonight I will look out this window and consider what past keepers had to do to keep the light on.

There was an oil tank some 15 yards to the left of where I am sitting to type this entry. A keeper would make his way to the well and proceed from there to the walkway and up the stairs. 32 steps later it was two ladders to get him to the lantern room and the lens. My admiration for those keepers has grown and grown as I have been here. For those that took the walk to the far end of the big jetty I have an even greater admiration. That red light is doing all the work tonight as it did for the 134 years that saw the Tower light extinguished.

The wind tore a screen out of an upstairs window last night. In that kind of wind, in all kinds of weather, the job was to keep the light on for mariners. I miss the whir of it; the pattern can hypnotize. Tonight the horizon is an oil slick and the knock of the rocks is the only way to know where you are. Light the candle again; we don't take it for granted; we know what it does for us.

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