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“When you improve your own mind, you become your very own lighthouse.” – Mehmet Murat ildan

Each morning for months I meditated on a painting of Marblehead Lighthouse when I was confined to a wheelchair due to pain in my lower legs. I imagined myself having a sturdy base again so that my light could shine.

I bought the painting from a local woman who had her work displayed at my community's recreation center, where I often swam—the form of exercise that caused me the least amount of pain then. I hadn’t realized the lighthouse was on Lake Eerie, just two hours north of my home. At the time, I wasn’t able to drive and didn’t have the energy to travel, so I resolved to visit it when I healed.

This week, 18 months after I bought the painting, I drove my college-aged sons north for a picnic beside Marblehead Lighthouse, which was even more majestic in person. As it turned out, several other families had had the same idea, each of us enjoying the lighthouse from our separate pods spread out across the state park that surrounds it.

As amazing as the lighthouse was, I wanted to connect with it when no one else was there, so I woke up early the next morning and left our hotel to visit it on my own.

In addition to taking photos of the lighthouse as the sun rose and writing in my journal, I recorded the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore, the whir of the wind blowing, and tweets of the birds who joined me in celebrating the new day—a way to revisit my experience until I can return to the beacon.

Sunday Journal Prompt

What places serve as a beacon for you? How do they fuel you? When and how can you revisit them in person or in your mind?


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