Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The start of it all.



I've always loved lighthouses. From a very small age my parents took our family to a nearby lighthouse during the summer, but it wasn't too long ago that it became much more. Back then it was just that...a lighthouse. Something beautiful to go see on a Sunday afternoon if we were up by the lake. In the past few years my husband and I had become more frequent visitors to that very lighthouse, even taking our newborn daughter. To be honest, she has been places her mother has not, twice! She has climbed the tower with her grandparents (something her mother and father have not done yet). It wasn't until a more recent trip we've taken to Whitefish Point (Paradise, U.P. Michigan) that my love for lighthouses flourished into an obsession.
I've looked at lighthouses as landmarks for years as a place go and see, but that trip changed my perspective. There is alot more than the beauty of the structure, there is the purpose.
Whitefish Point is also the home of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Rich with history, the museum houses pictures, stories and artifacts of ships and crew that have met their fate on the great lakes. The famed Edmund Fitzgerald is nestled approx. 17 miles offshore from here. After seeing the most heart-wrenching documentary of "The Big Fitz" we then toured the light keeper's quarters and walked the beachfront which seemed to stretch for miles. Over and over the call from the ship stuck with me. If they could see the light, they would be safe. The lighthouse that night meant home, safe and nurturing like a mother. There was no light that night, the storm had made the lighthouse dim. With this the lighthouse became so much more to me. Not just on that night, a sorrowful November 10th, but on many nights everywhere they are looked to for hope. With this seed began a conquest.
As the months flew by I began researching shipwrecks and lighthouses. The two for me merged into an obsession for learning and seeing all that I could.
I know realistically we may never see ALL of the lighthouses, but it is a goal we are determined to shoot for.
This is just the beginning......

1 comment:

James said...

It's really cool how we become interested in things. My love of lighthouses has evolved into a general love for the maritime culture - shipwrecks, pirates, etc. I can't remember a time when I didn't love lighthouses, but I am sure there was one.

Nice story. I will have to think back to when it all started for me and write about that.