Sometimes it appears to me that lighthouses have a personality. Chatham Light, guarding the far reaches of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, strikes me as being proud – exhibiting both the foot soldier’s humble utility and the austere dignity of the captain of arms.
The tower, standing sentinel-straight over its complex of red-roofed outbuildings, has been rebuilt several times after fire and punishing storms. Now, made of brick and steel, it looks as if it could stand forever.
When I saw Chatham Light, under a brooding, ominous sky, I sensed the fury of the storms that periodically pound the Cape. There was urgency to my painting; the wind was kicking salt spray into the air, and rain threatened to wash my canvas clean. I worked feverishly to capture the dramatic mood and the spare beauty of the scene while weather permitted.
Chatham Light, like so many lighthouses, stands on a desolate, hostile shore, that one might almost be tempted to describe as “God forsaken.” But the message of lighthouses is really quite different – it is that, regardless of appearances, no place is truly “God forsaken.” God’s guiding hand is everywhere visible, and His message of hope and consolation applies with greatest force when the storm rages around us.