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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lighthouses (republished)

Readers:  Because we are beginning "school season" again, I wanted to republish this post because it speaks to all of us who work with, and care about, kids.  May each of you have the strength to carry on. JL

I lived in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for five years.  That little city is surrounded by water: the Bay of Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.  The Door County Peninsula where Sturgeon Bay sits is home to several lighthouses up and down both sides guiding and warning ships and boats as they approach shoreline.

I’ve always been fascinated with lighthouses.  Some are big, tall and famous, while others are little and nondescript.  Some are in good shape, while others seem to be in disrepair.  I imagine a ship captain welcomes that light in times of storm as his ship is buffeted by wind and wave.  I think the captain is relieved to see that light shining when his ship is surrounded by fog.

There have been many lighthouses in my life as a child and as an adult.  I think of Mrs. Nancy Mehring, my fourth grade teacher.  You see, I was a stutterer, timid and shy.  I lacked confidence in myself, was a horrible student who didn’t apply himself, who didn’t concentrate and either couldn’t or didn’t pay attention.  She saw through all of that and tapped into some potential that no one else had before her.  Like a lighthouse, she saved me in a time of fog where I couldn’t see, couldn’t find direction and saved me from drifting endlessly.  Instead of crashing onto a rocky shoreline, she guided me to calm waters.  

 I think of my sixth grade teacher, Sr. Josephe’ Marie Flynn, who furthered the love of learning in me and gave me my love of writing.  Without her, I might not have ever discovered I could write.  I might not have ever used this creative tool to reach and teach others, to entertain.

A lighthouse.  It guides and warns.  It comforts in a storm.  It gives direction in fog.  It doesn’t need to be famous, big or tall.  It can be little and nondescript.

I wonder what might happen if each of us becomes a lighthouse for even just one other person.  We might change that individual’s life as Mrs. Mehring and Sr. Josephe’ did for me.  We might change our own lives in the process.  Just imagine the possibility.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe