Lee was the last lighthouse keeper and that thought weighed heavy on his heart. He had been in the job for thirty-seven years and had come to the end of the era. There wasn’t much need for a beam of light to circle the bay now there was all that technology mapping on the ships.
Lee felt quite sad about that but maybe the lighthouse would get a new lease of life. There was talking about turning it into a museum and allowing the public scenic views from the top. And perhaps, he could return as a volunteer? Wouldn’t that be great to give visitors tours and share his stories.
During the summer, the school’s headmaster would go away. Worn down and stressed, he found escaping to the hills and spending time in complete isolation and nature the best to recover.
He pitched a tent, created a fire, built extra shelter from fallen branches and ferns around his camp site. During the daytime, he walked the hills, fished, set rabbit traps and collect edible fruits, plants and fungi. Later, he cooked what he’d caught and had supper.
At night he fell sleep, lulled by rain, wind and animals’ calls, knowing when he woke there was nothing to worry over.
The sun shone on the murky mud river, heating it up but leaving the depths cool. Ripples caused by fish and the boats crossed the surface. I watched and saw fish jumping.
Sipping my coffee, I lent on the railing of my cousin’s houseboat and wished I could have this life. He had moved to Luxon, South Australia as a child, leaving England behind. Our twin mothers had been close and we had visited each other often.
Now though, I had lost everything and had come here seeking an escape but perhaps, I could stay here and begin again?
They sat on the pebble shore, reflecting on what they had seen in the museum. It had been a shock to see the half section of the Mary Rose which their distant ancestor had sailed upon, looking so well persevered.
The wooden hull of the ship had dripped the protective water being sprayed a upon, making it easier to imagine the Mary Rose riding the sea waves.
They had seen items that their ancestor might have used on board and learned about the life he’d lead. They felt closer to him now then they did before.
She could get lost in here. Bookcases rose all around her, filled deep with knowledge and life. She didn’t know where to begin it was so over welling. She had been told it was huge and grand but this was beyond what she had imagined.
Reaching out, she ran her fingers along the spines of the books as she walked. She thought she could feel little throbs and whispers as she did so. It was a librarian’s best dream and it was going to take awhile for her to realise this was now her reality.