Somewhere in the depths of an old photo album from many moons ago is a picture of me next to this lighthouse pictured. Taken at Old Hunstanton. This one was taken in August days before I moved up to Orkney. The one in the photo album shows me sitting in a pushchair and mum standing behind in a head scarf and rain coat. (ah those were the days when fashion graciously stepped aside to make room for warmth and comfort)
I wonder if that is when my love of lighthouses began? I have always enjoyed looking at pictures of lighthouses and watched with envy, programmes where people have converted lighthouses to live in.
This weekend I attended a lighthouses of prayer day. A group of almost 40 of us weathered the storms to make it to a coastal tearoom with spectacular views with a lighthouse to complete the landscape, and looked at ways we could impact our local communities by praying, caring and sharing. It was an interesting and encouraging day and I was genuinely uplifted to see how many people wanted to build up their communities by looking out for one another and looking for ways we could love,serve and help those people around us. There is a good community spirit in Orkney but we can always do more. Orkney is a very safe and friendly environment to raise children but people have the same stresses and strains wherever you go and we all need each other at the more difficult times. Just as a lighthouse warned the passing boats of the dangers of rocks, we as human lighthouses can be there to brighten up someones day or steer a misguided soul to safety. As conversations took place over the weekend we realised very much that sometimes we are the lighthouses. Strong and able to help light the way and sometimes we are the person in the boat feeling tossed around on a stormy sea. (I've paraphrased the conversations here but the idea's the same) I know I have been so grateful for the abundance of human lighthouses who have helped and selflessly served me over the years and hope to conintue the good work in other people lives.
We each took home a miniature lighthouse to remind us. I am lucky enough that in the distance from my lounge window I can see a lighthouse. I can't however see a little girl in a pushchair. Apparently she's all grown up now.