While I was exploring a lighthouse off the coast of Road Island, I ran into a part of the house that I was sure was not actually on the tour. I realize now the irony of getting lost in a light house. It is literally a building specifically designed to prevent disorientation. I am not really sure how I got lost or if it was indeed an accident or actually a purposeful folly. I do have a keen ability to be entirely captivated by a marvelous detail that I am oblivious to things going on (or in this case moving on) around me. However, I also have a prideful side that sometimes provides me a false confidence in my abilities to navigate areas I have never visited before. It would not have been unlike me to assume that I would be able to catch up with the tour later. This character flaw combined with a subconscious desire to fulfill my more curious sensibilities sometimes gets me into some glorious messes. And truth be told, I wouldn’t change that for the world. I love getting lost. If I hadn’t gotten lost I wouldn’t have stumbled upon the lighthouse storage room. This hodgepodge collection of trinkets from the Lighthouse’s past provided me a clearer picture of its story than any tour could have done. I enjoyed walking through the “attic” imagining the people who used these items, how these random items came to reside in this lighthouse and how long they had been there. It was truly magical and enchanting. I eventually found my way back to the tour and my secret detour was never discovered. 🙂
My first notion of Brighton Beach came from my readings of Pride and Prejudice. It was first mentioned when Lydia was telling Elizabeth how they should go to this seaside resort to meet the officers who were stationed there. Later on Brighton became the source of a major plot twist when Lydia visits it with some friends. The frivolity and unguardedness of Brighten overcomes Lydia and she finds herself in a very scandalous elopement with Mr. Wickham. Being an avid (ok totally obsessed) Jane Austin Fan, I couldn’t help but be instantaneously intrigued by this infamous regency era beach.
While circumstances at Brighton might not have been ideal in the novel, the excitement and merriment this town generated in the minds of young Bennett girls always captured my attention. I was therefore extremely keen to go visit the seaport village that has been beloved and enjoyed throughout history by so many real life wanders and fictional characters alike!
I enjoyed my visit. It was a lovely day to see the shore and take a stroll on its pebbled beach. The town itself is quite eclectic. The streets are filled with rows and rows of interesting shops and cafes. ( I think I had my first savory pie from a pie shop in Brighton now that I think about it.) You can buy all sorts of arts and crafts and clever things that you didn’t know you needed. And the streets themselves are uniquely flavored by the colorful and intricate trails of intentional graffiti. The grand old hotels give off an interesting air that issues an echo of the city’s previous glory and grandeur. The peers themselves are cheerfully painted white and blue and turquoise and every so often there is a fanciful merry-go-rounds that would make even Mary Poppins jealous.
The place was whimsical and fun and everything I would expect from an English Seaside resort. I did however, miss the crowds of hansom young officers promised to be there in the pages of Pride and Prejudice.
When one sets out on a leisurely stroll in a Canadian harbor town, one does not expect to discover a legit Castle. This, however, happened to me as I set out on a walk around Victoria. I rounded a corner and there was an actual full on Castle. It was quite the happy accident. I was able to take a tour of what I found out to be Canada’s famous Craigdarrock Castle. On the Tour I got a glimpse of what life was like for the very interesting and quirky Dunsmuirin family who built the castle during Queen Victoria’s reign. This serendipitous discovery was a highlight of my time spent in Victoria and another reminder that when you travel and allow yourself to truly wander, you never know what sort of treasure you might find along the way.
People often find it strange that I don’t really plan my trips or research a city before I visit it. I find that when you happen upon a treasure like this you find so much more joy and excitement from visiting it than if you had planed to see it all along. When I travel, I love living in the moment and taking advantage of each experience as they present themselves. I also know how grateful I am when God is in control of my trip and I relish in all of the amazing adventures, views, and people He sends my way. Traveling without a plan allows me to marvel at His goodness and really exist in a state of continual awe and worship. I can give up control because I know God is faithful and just so good! You never know when He just might place a Castle in your path.
There is something so uniquely wholesome about lighthouses. Perhaps their ability to secure ones instant trust shouldn’t be all that surprising. Their very reason for existence is to guide the lost home. They provide a beacon of hope and light to the weary traveler while nobly identifying the dangers before them. Their constant drumming of light provides a rhythmic path to safety that calms and assures the soul.
I have not done much/any sailing on my own. I would be the first to tell you I wouldn’t have the first clue how to circumnavigate the seas. I can only imagine the powerful all consuming wave of relief one would feel when they first catch glimpse of the shore through that beacon of light. Its dancing reflection across the water would be a blanket of security to those searching for asylum from the unforgiving seas.
When I come across a light house in my travels I am captivated by their beauty. This one taken at Point Judith in Rhode Island was particularly captivating. With today’s new innovations these beautiful structures are more historical artifacts than tools of navigation; but I love them because they represent a bygone era where man relied on his fellow human being rather than a machine for assistance. In a storm sailors depended on the honor of the men who ran these houses to guide them through the rough and merciless waters. When I see a lighthouse I often wonder about the men who lived and worked in them. I also think about their lonely life; living in a tower above the world. I am sure they saw all, but engaging in so little. Who were these men? What stories did they have?
While Lighthouses invoke my romantic sensibilities about the days of old and delight my imagination they also provide such great parallels to the God I serve. When I see a lighthouse I am reminded how God is that steady unwavering beacon of true light in my own life. He is always guiding our path and leading us home. He is unwavering, unchanging and unyielding. He is the one and true constant source of security, love and peace. He alone can help us face the trials and storms of this world.
Psalms 119: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
In a journey across Washington my friend and I happened upon the Quinault Rain Forest. I found it eerily enchanting, as if I expected woodland nymphs to appear around every corner. It was early spring and the trees had not yet budded, yet the vibrant moss that covered the rocks, trees and valleys made it swim with promises of new life. I was captivated by the Forest’s beauty, yet there was also a since of silent foreboding. It was as if there was some ominous secret concealed behind its blanket of green. I found it oddly chilling and peaceful at the same time. These enigmatic trees have existed long before my time and will endure long after. They can gladly bewitch me with their secrets and mystery.
I have decided to post a picture of my previous travels every Wednesday ( I know today is Thursday) in a segment called Wednesday Wanderings. These pictures will be a selection of my favorite places and or stories. This particular pictures was taken in Denver in the “Garden of the gods.” I visited a friend who was going to school out in Colorado. I loved the mile high city and would love to return someday. There are very few cities where I feel like I would enjoy living permanently ….Denver might just be one of them.