I have Alex and Ani Lighthouse charms, lighthouses scattered throughout my apartment, and various prints and animations of these amazing structures.
Growing up, I thought it would be really cool to visit all of the lighthouses on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
And then I realized that was a huge undertaking, (I was 16) so I planned it state by state.
At the time, I lived in NJ and I became awestruck at the number of lighthouses there are just in NJ.
While our significant and most recognized lighthouse is the CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE, there are many markers along the entire coast line and on the water ways in NJ.
While I have visited many of these beautiful structures in NJ and throughout the country, I have not yet visited ALL of them. (But that provides for an interesting adventure, doesn’t it?)
Carla recently shared her daughter called her her safe person.
I responded to her post by saying that I refer to my safe person as my LIGHTHOUSE.
My mom is my LIGHTHOUSE.
My mom is my safe person.
She is there willing to listen, sometimes not responding letting me sort it out.
She provides a sense of security in a sometimes rough and tumbling world.
My mom is amazing.
She has done amazing things, in times when women were not supposed to do those things.
It must run in the family.
My maternal grandmother has also done amazing things. In the spirit of we do what needs to be done, these two women have provided standards of excellence to for which to strive.
But I digress.
Let me share why my safe person is a Lighthouse.
What is a Lighthouse?
- A lighthouse is a structure, usually with a tower built onshore or on the seabed to serve as an aid to maritime coastal navigation, warning mariners of hazards, establishing their position, and guiding them to their destinations. From the sea a lighthouse may be identified by the distinctive shape of color of its structure, by the color or flash pattern of its light, or by the coded pattern of its radio signal. –www.britannica.com
- The first lighthouse built in the United States was Boston Lighthouse. (I have not visited it, but have sailed by it in the harbor). It was built in 1716 on Little Brewster Island and destroyed during the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt in 1783 and still stands today. –Lighthouse Digest
Prior to the lighthouse, aquatic navigation could be really sketchy.
Fires were burned on the top of hills, or torches were carried on the shore. If the ship was delayed or arrived early, lighting may not have been provided and the captain had to navigate the coast without any lighted guidance, relying on the maps of the time.
No sonar, no GPS, just a hope and a prayer and hearsay.
Without modern technology, visibility at night was challenging. Maps were not abundant, and captains had to manage vessels through coastal waters, navigating rocks, and sand by sight.
Yes, the moon provided some light on clear nights. I cannot imagine stumbling around in the dark, without a light to guide me as a marker, not knowing where the shore line is.
I would not have felt safe. It was because of the many, many ship wrecks that structures were built and the age of the lighthouse began.
- A lighthouse is stable. I have a wandering soul. My mom calls me the ‘gypsy’ of the family. I’m the adventurer and have been known to pack up and move for a different perspective or new geography. As a wanderer it is nice to know that there is the stability.
- A lighthouse shines in the storm. I know the light is always shining and the message the same: You can do it! My mom supports my choices— even the hair-brained, fly by the seat of your pants, cross your fingers that it works schemes that sometimes work out, or present solutions I never imagined.
- The lighthouse is in a fixed location. I know where the lighthouse is. I know where I can find the safety net, the security, the light to shine in the path. My mom has always been there for me. She has encouraged me to pursue different adventures, and is shining brightly as I travel forward.
I googled lighthouse and found that there is a term, ‘lighthouse parent’.
The text described the relationship I have with my mom.
She provides guidance, direction, a shoulder to lean (or cry) on. She shows me a path I might take. She does not have all the answers nor do I want her to give these. She encourages me to step beyond my limitations.
She allows me to fail knowing I will pick myself up and move forward. She has strong core values and an empathetic ear. She’s provided a safe place for me, physically and emotionally many times.
She provides a humorous outlook on life and reminds me that it is acceptable to laugh out loud especially at one’s self. It changes the perspective.
I would not be where I am today, without her influence.
Now I ask YOU:
- Who is your lighthouse?
Meg coaches runners, swimmers and tris. She’s currently preparing for her 2016 season, which will include a half and full marathon, a half-iron, and lots of laughter along the way.