Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Door hinges to a weathered door made squeaking in the wind. Out on a space of open grass, before a rocky drop to the ocean, someone had built a small house. There was no glass in the windows nor paint on the wood. Some of the roof had fallen in.

And now someone stood here, a frequent visitor. Though the place was not really too remote, he usually had it to himself. It was useful to experience land and sea and solitude, but in particular, a sense of history.

The house was a curious place, in that it seemed to defy time and distance a bit. There had been little chance for any historical evidence to be left around. People were a new thing here. At the same time, no one knew who had built the house.

It was almost as if it were a sort of premonition on the part of an early arrival, a small window of time for artifacts to occur, a calling to ways of life experienced first-hand by the builder, before recorded development began.

Now, the visitor’s imagination could play out the logic of events. Collected over time, the visitor had been exposed to plenty of references to previous coastal and seafaring life: pictures, stories, movies, places he’d been. And now, something in the surroundings – the wind, the remains of structures, the open coast, the sound of the door hinge telling tales, the mirage set off by hazy sunlight glinting from silvery wood – something was evocative.

Suddenly everything the visitor had seen and heard about the ocean in times past came to mind. In effect, the premonition of the early house builder was realized, translated over time and distance for the visitor. Things the visitor had never personally been witness to could be inferred and the life of centuries of sea travel played out.

At the moment, ships and boats were mostly still limited to interisland travel. But a greater scope of travel could be foreseen, vessels from longer distances eventually going by the rocky shore. And even though more modern practical means of navigation were now available, the visitor had a premonition, a legacy for ships to come.

He would build a lighthouse.

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