Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | September 25, 2012

At Peace Among the Waves

If there’s a peace that surpasses all understanding – and of course there is though we seem to turn from it as though we prefer some other, there is equally a view (or views) that calms our souls as we direct our gaze. Surely the most basic of these is the sight of our beloved – whomever that may be for each of us in this mortal flesh, but equally for us as christians this may well be our Christ or our Holy Mother, or the light of worship in our hearts.

For me, one of those others has been the sighting this lighthouse. It’s been a joy for nearly fifty years. At times it’s been the passage to an adventure, and at others a guide to home, safe anchorage and all ashore. I’ve sailed past with many no longer here… and sometimes I wonder as  I near it… how long ’til I’ll no more stretch beyond its light?

Ah… but today… today the U.S. Government in it’s infinite wisdom has sold these things off one by one. Who needs a beacon in a digital space age where GPS tells us exactly where we are? And so there’s now a fellow who comes out to the light – not a lightkeeper who tends it, but one who simply owns it and has been busy fixing it up. You can almost hear the line from Young Frankenstein, “I dunno, some curtains, a few flowers… it might be quite nice.” And yet you can see how difficult it is to get up to the habitation… boat, ladder, and all. Oddly, the government folks thought buyers would take these things home… like “as if”… and clear the channel as though they were mere obstructions and out-dated, now merely hazards to navigation.

Sure, the time will come when we sell off our old friends. “Time to go, dude.”

Thankfully, seems they’ve given up that ambition as unrealistic save selling the things to princes and the star-crossed who for unfathomable reasons seek better or more accessible retreats and prefer private jets to row boats, and bejewelled babe-ensconced beaches to hard rock lights… even nuclear-fired ones as this once was. This was unforeseen. Ah… but for those intent souls encompassed by companions unknown, unseen and specifically uncounted and without dimension… those that can put all that aside, and maybe enjoy the familiar loneliness their high status brings but don’t prefer entombment in their more typical gaggle of glitterati and might prefer being piled high on a rock… this might indeed have been the spot. But none did, and they’ve languished, and the prospect of imminent removal seems fading as the setting sun in this shot through the afterglow of a long summer’s day. And at least for now, this beloved Baltimore Light continues to greet our passage from river to bay, from youth to middling age, and from doubting mess to guided believer.

And so I’ve posted this as my screensaver for some weeks… and it’s peace has been well received. My Dad will soon set off on his last long, lonely journey, and for all those years where we sailed by, where we worked together, where he taught and navigated me through all the dangers, the shoals and even the joys of this life… from Father-and-Son “pal’s forever” Indian Guides to friends and business partners and even now… one of those dimly remembered complimented caregivers… I remain as thankful as I do when finding this beacon on a dimly lit night. May he sail gently by into the Lord’s loving arms, and may our love shine on like this sturdy, friendly companion of the night.


  1. James, this is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing it….and yourself…with us. May your Dad soon be where there is no more tears but only ‘Holy, Holy,Holy’ sung well.

  2. Thank you, James. I say Amen to Athanasia’s comments – and I didn’t know about the government’s selling of lighthouses and all, so it’s interesting from that standpoint – and sad.
    I like the way you express the way these earthly and transient things can be used by the Lord to comfort us in our own earthly lives.

  3. So glad I subscribed to your blog. Such a lovely tribute, may God grant peace be to you and your father.

  4. You folks are too kind. Can’t say I intended to write this; can’t say I didn’t. Truth is sometimes you just can’t be sure where your heart will lead… but it’s the way we’ve always liked to sail: you set off where the wind leads you as though it draws you out. It’s a tradition…. like the open road to some… only wetter.

    Find much I do these days… wherever we are… more of my mind seems drawn toward my Dad than I would have imagined. He’s been a good man..and I’d have said as Elder Thaddeus (“Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives”) says of his own father: “I would have been happy to have inherited his character.”

  5. Simply beautiful. May peace reign in the coming days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: