by: Guildford Windley
The Light Housekeeper
On a lonely stretch of land jutting high above the ocean lapping at the shore of jagged rocks awash with foam
On a barren bluff above the sea, she stands forevermore an off white conical tall tower, a guardian of the coastal waters.
Her height at 115 feet, she stands, and a beacon of light she sends to sea to guide tall ships to safety.
For below her might cliffs are hidden shoals that lie within the sea, with only jagged rocks that break above the watery grave.
Here down below many fine tall ships did fall prey when they wander to close on their inward tack as they fought the southern current.
Many a sailor owns their life to the light housekeeper, who stood his watch so long ago.
For in a storm, with gale winds or in the dense coastal fog a tacking ship, her sails being ripped by the howling wind makes easy prey for a watery grave, taking a sailor soul to the deep.
A lonely life and a rugged demanding job was a calling few would take, but way back then when tall ships ruled the sea, before electricity
The light housekeeper was for those who went to sea, their best friend.
Now there were many types of lighthouses that help to light the way. Some were tall, some were small.
There were grand Victorian and then there were those plain little boxes.
But the ones I love stand tall above the other; to reach her light was one hundred thirty-six steps to climb.
The keeper of the light work both day and night to make sure the Fresnel lens stay bright
The kerosene oil to light the lamps needs to be watched so that they can keep the light a going, a job that’s never done for the light housekeeper.
In a desolated place far away from the human race on a lonely bluff that juts out to the ocean a few lived in quiet solitude, they lived off the food that they had grown.
It was a lonely life for a keeper of the light, with his wife beside him, with a family that they had living off the land, and keeping watch for the safety of the ships offshore.
At some station, there were lightkeepers with a crew of assistants that work around the clock.
But then there was that lonely outpost with just one family that had to manage the lighthouse all by themselves.
Oh, those days are bygone days of yore, nowadays what lighthouses are still in operation are of automation.
As for tall ships their mast filled with sails, they few nowadays, and are for recreation.
But the old lights houses still stand and can be seeing.
Some of the old lights now are museums open to the public.
So when you venture on a coastal road and come around a bend, to see a tall lady of off white standing on a bluff please take the road that will lead you to her door.
A venture into the past, that will take you back in time to the days of sailing ships, and of men and women of a different time.
A hardy breed of folks was they, who live a rugged life back then.
They lead a life of tending to the light housework and in the process, they help to build a young new nation.
Guildford H Windley
January 25, 2020