Lighthouse: a structure (such as a tower) with a powerful light that gives a continuous or intermittent signal to navigators.
Purpose: It is a tower with a bright light at the top, located at an important or dangerous place regarding navigation (travel over water). The two main purposes of a lighthouse are to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous areas.
On one of our adventures, the girlfriend and I found our way to a very old lighthouse that had a rich history. Upon reaching the base of the lighthouse we were greeted by a WWII veteran, who volunteered his time sharing the history of this lighthouse. We were also fortunate enough to climb the stairs to the very top and look across the sea of trees below us. My girlfriend LOVES lighthouses, so being able to explore one with her was a memory I will treasure forever.
It wasn’t until after that I thought a lot about the symbolism of lighthouses and what they represent. So, me, someone that loves history, s looked more into the origin of lighthouses.
Wayyyy back in the day, pre-dating lighthouses even, sailors use geographic landmarks or small fires, to gauge where the coastline is. I’ve always marveled at how people seemed to use everything that was available to them. They didn’t have electricity, iPhones or even GPS, yet people were able to accomplish wonders.
One of the seven wonders of the world IS a freaking lighthouse, the Pharos of Alexandria. Built around 280BC, recorded history indicates it was roughly 45 stories tall… That’s 450ft… or 1.5 football fields in height. How on earth did people build something of that nature without a high-rise crane, tractors and modern construction tools we use today? Even though it took about 20 years to complete, the structure itself lasted nearly 1500 years until it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th Century. It is thought that the light that emanated from this lighthouse could be seen up to 30 miles away at night and during the day smoke would emit from the top serving as a “day mark.”
History aside, lighthouses are important, they serve as traffic signs of the sea, just like your typical traffic signs found along the road as you drive. Some signs can show that a hard turn is coming up, a steep grade increase, wary of deer and many more things.
In YOUR life you need “lighthouses,” not an actual lighthouse per say, but PEOPLE who have your best interests in mind. PEOPLE who want you to succeed, be safe and live a fulfilling life. Not all of us are blessed with great parents or come from broken homes so yea might be a little more difficult for us to start finding those “lighthouses.” They are THERE though. YOU just need to look and be receptive of others that truly love you and want the best.
For me, one of these “lighthouses” is my Grandparents. Even though my Grandma has passed, the impact she had on me growing up is something I still carry inside of me. My Grandpa is the same way, during my parents’ divorce and all the drama that ensued he and my Grandma were there for me. I didn’t want anything to do with them or anyone really. My Grandpa looked out for me and knew that I needed to have a relationship with my mom in some way. He encouraged it and knew that once I could reach that point I would be at peace internally.
Honestly, I never really thought I needed a relationship with my mom. Yes, it took me ~10 years to forgive her and start building a relationship with her. I had forgiven her many years before and wasn’t even angry at her, I simply was just done with her being in my life.
It never really hit me until one of my “lighthouses” suggested I meet with her over coffee and just talk and keep things simple. What I didn’t understand, until after I met with her, is the subconscious impact my broken relationship with her had on me and all my other relationships in life.
Always questioning people, never trusting people 100%, stuff like that. My parents instilled in me virtues, morals, and teachings they themselves believed in. So, when one of your parents goes and completely negates everything they raised you to be. That trust, a trust in my eyes that should never be broken (Parent-kid), becomes in fact, broken.
Where I am at today, compared to where I was last year, five years ago and even yesterday, is constantly changing for the better. I have been fortunate to surround myself with people that want the best for me, challenge me and look out for me.
If I get lost, lose my way, those people “lighthouses” are there to guide me back on the correct path. If I am inexperienced in some area, they can show me what they did, what worked, didn’t work etc.
I mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts, Invest in Others.. Reap the Benefits, the importance of cultivating relationships with others and not materialistic things. One day you could be on top of the world, nice house, car, you name it and BAM all of it can be gone in a blink of an eye. Whereas, people come and go throughout your life, but when you invest in a chosen few, they will serve as those “lighthouses” that we all need in life.
If you are a parent, remember you serve as a lighthouse to your children. YOU are there to guide, protect and love them as they grow and start to become their own lighthouse for others to see. I myself, am no longer alone in this world, I have a family now, and want to be the best lighthouse I can be for those around me.