The Light and the Lighthouse

This is the Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island. Having grown up near here, I’ve visited this place many times. My fifth grade class came here for an end-of-school picnic, and I carried along my first camera: a plastic Kodak. Often I was drawn to the old warrens and concrete bunkers of the hundred-year-old military compound. As kids, my friends and I would giggle in the sour darkness with nothing but a plastic pen light.

Now I live a long way off, and I only get to visit it once a year. Thomas Wolfe wrote, You Can’t Go Home Again, and while he’s existentially correct, certain places, I believe, are immune to this maxim. For me, standing near the lighthouse at dusk, is one of them.

If you really think about it, I bet that in the whirling cacophony of your typhoon life, you have a place like this, too. Find a photo. Close your eyes and remember, not just the sights, but the sounds and the smells. Or, make an excuse and just go.

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