After living on the coast for half my life, it still astonishes me that in less than 10 minutes, we can reach the edge of the land and watch the ocean bundle itself, then unravel like a carpet of foam as it churns to shore. The other day though, the sea rested. A full-moon low tide vacuumed the water from the beach where it undulated under the haze of a mild afternoon.
About a mile out, our lighthouse sits on a ledge—only that day, it didn’t. As the still ocean mirrored the sky, it formed an optical allusion and Minot Light stood suspended, the granite tower hovering above the horizon like a statue levitating over the sea. Sometimes when we are lucky, we catch an image like that on a hot morning in July but this time, it was an unseasonably warm afternoon in February. As we gazed over the sea wall, our lighthouse hung above the horizon as if strung from invisible wires.
It’s a given that this image would appear when yet again, I forgot the camera. Today, I’ll consider that a good thing. The memory has provided me with an exercise, has challenged me to to extract essential words in an attempt to illustrate the moment via a different medium—so you see it the way I did two days ago, when the vision imprinted itself like a photograph on my eye.