Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weathering Life's Storms Together

In a world of confusion and change, there are many who are searching for the beacon light of hope. And even though constant stability is never a sure thing, we can find a strong foot hold as we weather life's storms together.

And that is what this blog is intended to do - to uplift and inspire those who are trying to find secure ground. It is our sincere hope that we, as authors and writers, can put our talents to good use and create a readable haven for those who need to find momentary peace, perspective, or simply rest a while before facing another wave of challenges.

In that vein, as the founder of this site I offer this - a short story I wrote in hopes that you will find your light to hang onto....

The Lighthouse
By Stacy Gooch Anderson

His face sunk into a stern expression as he slowly lowered the brass looking glass to his side. The old sea captain had agreed to take on one last voyage before he nestled into retirement finally able to enjoy the rest of his twilight years with his sweetheart. Years of reading charts and following an exacting seaman’s instinct however had not prepared him for the massive squall billowing on the horizon.

“It’ll take mor'an a wing an a prayer to get er through this'un,” he lamented to himself and the swirling winds being glad for years of experience from which he could draw.

He quickly shouted the orders to his crew and they jumped into action battening down the hatches, lowering the sails and tightening the winches. The old captain noted with satisfaction that having such a fine crew under his tutelage and an extremely seaworthy vessel, although not easily they’d surely ride out the storm. He just hoped it wouldn’t be a long one for if they were blown off course, the dangerous reefs lurking on the eastern coast could easily swallow them up before the storm ever would.

But that was not likely to happen – in all of his experience, no storm had ever lasted more than a day.

Night came upon the ship within moments of the storm. More than just a few hoped that the coincidence was not to be on omen of what darkness might possibly lay ahead. The old captain confident in his leadership, thought nary a second of the timing other than to almost savor the challenge this gale would provide.

For three days the vessel had been thrown over the peaks of the angry ocean without benefit of sunlight or a moment’s reprieve. The captain had grown weary not from the strain of his physical demands and lack of sleep but from the knowledge he harbored that those nasty eastern reefs were looming out there somewhere. With a storm like this however, pinpoint accuracy even for a seasoned chartist was impossible. And without benefit of visual landmarks, he feared for the lives of his passengers and his crew. It was a heavy burden indeed to carry upon his weathered and stooped old shoulders.

Finally succumbing to the realization that he could never deliver his precious cargo to safety through his experience and wisdom alone, battered by the gusts and salty water he stood firmly at his wheel and raised his voice to heaven.

“Lord, I know I’m a rough ol’ soul who’s mor’n a bit prideful and oft times neglec'ful of those things of import includin’ ye. But I been given charge of getting’ these here folks to a safe harbor and I been given it my best but for the firs’ time in all m’ days, I‘ve come across a tempest that’s mightier ‘n me and she’s a feisty one whose hell bent on throwing us into a mess I can’t get us out of. I’ve lost my bearings, Lord, and I need guidance. Could ye pull one more miracle out? Not just for an ol’ scalawag like me although I’d be mighty grateful but for all those others on this ship who need to find their way home to safety.”

The captain lowered his head and peered out into the darkness until he thought he saw a glimmer of something on the horizon. Could it be? It was so dim at first that he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him but it continued to grow steadily brighter until it became his sole focus point leading him through the darkness. He shouted his orders and made adjustments ever watchful of the light that kept them from harm’s way.

The light remained emblazoned on the horizon and the old captain, wondering at the light which continued to remain steady through the storm, kept steering his ship away from the dangers the beacon protected them from.

Three days later as they finally sailed safely into harbor battered but not beaten, the deck hands rushed aboard to help the crew unload.

“We’re amazed you were able to make it through that storm, Sir. Your survival speaks highly of your skills as a captain. We’ve seen a lot of debris wash up but you’re the first ship with life we’ve seen here at the docks. I must say, we’ve been quite disheartened. You’ve given us hope and bolstered our faith, ” one bantered as he pulled the rigging and helped tie the vessel down.

“Oh twasn’t me,” the old captain was quick to reply. “Twas that blessed lighthouse of yours down the shore who guided us to safety.”

The deck hand looked at the sea captain a bit perplexed. “Sir, that lighthouse was destroyed within the first hours of the storm. That’s why all the debris. We can’t even count how many ships must’ve gone down and lives lost in the last few days. That’s why your being here is such a miracle and has given us hope.”

The sea captain nodded as it dawned on him that it had been a heavenly light - not an Earthly one – which had led them through the storm, “Yes,… a miracle. Indeed it is seaman, indeed it is.”

3 comments:

Candace E. Salima said...

Absolutely beautiful, Stacy. I loved your short story.

Your template is gorgeous. In a couple of months I'll be asking you to add this blog, and your other one, to a project I am involved. As soon as I'm ready, I'll contact you.

Paula said...

Stacy, I love the richness of your description and the fact that, being raised on the ocean, I could see it all happening. This is a great vignette! I look forward to seeing more!

Anna Maria Junus said...

Lovely story. I'll be back to read more.