It’s the season for lighthouses!

watercolor and watercolor pencil

I’ve been a fan of lighthouses since high school. Curiously, it wasn’t a real one that first caught my eye. I was on a college visit to Bowling Green with my mom. We walked into a Thomas Kinkade gallery, whose work I was unfamiliar with at the time… and there it was.  A lighthouse like I’d never seen before. Kinkade is known as the “painter of light” and anyone can see why.

I felt the light somewhere deep in my soul and it has stayed there ever since. At one point, I even thought I wanted to move to Maine and live in a lighthouse. That is, until I realized all the work it takes to actually run one.  If you’re looking for a good lighthouse story to read with children, try Toni Buzzeo’s Lighthouse ChristmasCynthia Rylant also has a charming series of early chapter books called The Lighthouse Family.  I like the sound of that, don’t you?  And finally, for independent readers, try the regional tale, A Pocketful of Passage by Loraine Campbell.

So what is it about lighthouses that draws us to them?  Perhaps it’s because we’re all on a journey at sea in a storm looking for safety.  Looking for a light.  Something to suggest hope.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe

Some of my favorite lighthouses are in Michigan scattered along the Great Lakes.  My husband and I have seen quite a few of them, but our favorite is Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, MI.  It’s a real beauty.  We almost got married there, but the lighthouse was under renovation at the time.

After my accident, I was searching for a little hope and found it in Petoskey, MI.  There’s a great little lighthouse there, which I was lucky enough to sketch.  I think that was a beginning.  Or perhaps life coming full circle.

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”  — Anne Lamott

So my dear readers, search for a light if you must, but also think about being one.

My new mantra is: I don’t have a leader, I have a center.

colored pencils and oil pastels