When you look at something what do you see? Can you see beyond the surface? She was always accepted and easily befriended. A beautiful child with long, golden hair and bright, green eyes, people seemed to gravitate toward her from the very beginning. She was a happy girl and always smiling. She delighted in helping people and seeing them happy.
Did you ever look into someone’s eyes? Really look? People often told her how beautiful her eyes were, so green, so bright with a genuine joy just bursting from them. She often wondered what they were looking at? How could they not see the storm brewing inside her?
She felt cold raindrops splash against her skin and knew she didn’t have much time. She threw on her rain boots and coat and ran outside. The sky had grown dark with storm clouds and she could hear the low roar of thunder in the distance. She worked as quickly as she could to close and lock the storm shudders as she made her way up the spiral staircase. She was halfway to the top when the first big wave crashed against the stone.
She clung to the railing as she made her way up the steps. They were slick with rain and seawater when the second big wave crashed against the stone, throwing her against the stone with it. The cold seawater sprayed across her face and she felt her old friend tremble beneath her fingers.
She had just a few more steps to reach the top. She held onto the railing and pulled herself against the wind and the rain. When she finally reached the top, she carefully climbed over the railing and began working to secure the storm shudders around the base of the lantern. Another huge wave hit, this one hit with such a force that seawater washed over the top and knocked her to the ground. She lay there, face down, clinging to bottom bar of the railing. She could hear the groaning from within and feel the tremor through her body.
As soon as the water subsided, she got to her feet and made her way to the door. Just as she reached for the handle, another wave hit and her body was thrown against the door. She turned the handle and fell through it onto the floor. She quickly got to her feet to close the door, but the wind blew so fiercely she had to throw her entire body weight against it. She latched it and stood there with her back against the door to catch her breath before she allowed her body to sink down to the floor.
She sat on the floor for what seemed like an eternity. She was cold and soaked through. She could feel the exhaustion starting to set in. She needed to light the torch and get into dry clothes. If this storm lasted, she would be in for a long night. She rested for a few more minutes and then forced herself to get up. She lit the torch feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment. No matter how bad this storm would get, at least she knew she did her best. She turned on her hot plate to warm some soup while she peeled layers of wet clothes off. She knew she would feel better once she was dry and got something hot into her stomach.
She loved these stormy nights. She felt such a kinship to this old lighthouse. Like her, it was battered and had been neglected for years. It stood its ground against the relentless sea as the waves crashed against it over and over. Just as life had allowed people to use and abuse her again and again. But neither refused to fall; neither would be broken.
There was a safety in its solitude and she found peace here. Safe from people who made her feel lonely in a world that only befriended you because of what you could do for them. Like the torch of this old lighthouse, she felt the eyes were the windows to the soul. So how could no one see the pain behind them? How could people be so selfish and hurtful? To take from others what wasn’t theirs to take?
She knew there must be others out there who felt the same pain she did. Others who longed to be seen for who they really were. But where? Would she ever find them or be found herself? Was she brave enough or deserving enough to be seen? Perhaps she would just stay here and weather the storms until they were both too tired to battle the storms anymore.
Or perhaps, like the torch she lit to help light the way home for others, she too had a light within her that only few could see.