Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Fantasy

New Fantasy

I just heard about a lighthouse on the coast of Washington State where you can stay for a week and pretend to be a lighthouse keeper. No, make that: you can actually be a lighthouse keeper.

At New Dungeness Lighthouse, groups of up to seven people can sign on to be lighthouse keepers for a week. I don’t think the duties include anything to do with tending the light itself, but you give tours to the curious, water the lawn, and raise and lower the flag using proper flag etiquette. (Also, clean the bathrooms, but that isn’t part of the fantasy, so let’s skip that part.) And just live there as the keeper of the light.

I’ve wanted to do this ever since I read The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright, which ends with the four Melendy children heading off to spend the summer in their wealthy friend Mrs. Oliphant’s lighthouse. I love the idea of having all that time with nothing to do but write (it won’t take all that long to raise and lower the flag, will it?). As a landlocked Coloradan, I also feel the lure of the faraway sea. But I also want to be a guardian angel for wayfarers, the one who keeps them from dashing themselves upon the rocks, or who at least hollers out to let them know when they’re getting a bit too close for comfort. Which I guess is something writers and poets do as well.

Who wants to come with me?

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