Lighthouses were built to assist navigators of the sea, warning of dangerous rocks or hazardous coastlines. Today their numbers are diminished, as they have been replaced with modern technologies.
Yet a lighthouse remains a beacon, a structure that draws you. They are an icon of the past, a representation of a way of life that has changed. Governments do not want to support their maintenance but community groups cling to them and focus on their preservation. They are part of the identity of coastal villages.
One such lighthouse is situated near our cottage. The light turns, we watch for it. Whether or not boaters rely on it, I have no idea. I have visited that lighthouse many times and again this year. Cottages now surround it but it looks lonely and a bit weathered. I think of fiction I’ve read where families lived in often remote lighthouses, they were the keepers of the light.
Lighthouses are one of those iconic structures that we feel represent us as Atlantic Canada. We move forward but cling to symbols of our past, perhaps because of the uniqueness, the singleness of the building, perhaps in respect for days gone by.