AS a follow-up to last week’s account of our journey around the Keweenaw in Lake Superior, I wanted to share a particular aspect of our unforgettable run. As Nathan and I pushed forward against the sea, sometimes benign and sometimes malignant, it always reassured us to see the next lighthouse. They acted as our signposts of progress.
Even though we travelled during the daytime, just seeing those magnificent towers standing proudly on the stony outcroppings gave us a sense of comfort and accomplishment. I was reminded how that feeling has been shared by millions of sailors for countless centuries. We passed thirteen lighthouses during our voyage, each of them, like people, with their own story and personality. Because of their assistance and reassurance, without which we may not have made it, I was inspired to write the following verse.
When I journey through the seas
The lighthouse stands there guiding me.
Undiminished by time and toll
The faithful lighthouse beckons all.
A reassuring, warm embrace,
Its light shines comfort upon my face.
Of all the qualities I hold dear
This one stands without peer:
The lighthouse helps one and all
No matter their place, great or small.
As blind as justice the lighthouse is,
It has no enemy, only friends.
It helps all no matter their port of call
It guides them through the storm and squall.
‘The sea is great and my boat is small,’
So says the ancient mariner’s call.
But the lighthouse gets us through it all
And will not participate in my downfall.
I sailed on through both night and day
The reassuring light to guide my way.
I trust that I will always see
The faithful lighthouse guiding me.
Many readers have expressed interest in our circumnavigation. There is more to tell than I can fit in a column. Hopefully, there will opportunity to add to the narrative in the future.
BC Cook, PhD lived on Saipan and has taught history for 20 years. He currently resides on the mainland U.S.