Nubble Light. Happy Sunday!

Nubble Light, Cape Neddick, Maine

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

This shot, and others I took last Friday at Nubble Light in Cape Neddick Maine (or York Beach if you prefer), inspired a poem…at least in part about photography. I include it here since it tells at least the first part of the story.

I took a loop south today to photograph
Nubble Light off Cape Neddick, one of
the closer of the iconic Maine Lighthouses
(Goat Island Light in Cape Porpoise is
closer, but nearly as photogenic). Nubble
is a place I take every new camera within
the first month I own it…it is a scene that
forms a baseline in my understanding of
image quality…a reference for comparison…

I know, who cares? I am enough of a geek
to say I do…and geek enough to brave the
Ogunquit traffic on a Friday to get to
the cape and stand on the rocks and shoot
the Light that I have shot, what, 50 times
before…from all angles. Some days the
clouds are great behind the Light (today
was one of them), some days there is drama
in the way the waves drive up the gap
between the cape and island, sending spray
fountaining in the foreground (today the
sea was as flat as I have seen it, and the
water in the gap lapped gently at the foot
of the rocks as though they edged a pond).

But always there is beauty in the way the
old home and the tall light, the picket fence
and the brick pump-house, the cable car
lines draped across the gap, stand up against
the sea, stand fast and sure, stand as an
icon of the struggle to wrest a living from
these northern waters…from this restless sea…

and catching a bit of that beauty, that strength,
is the challenge that keeps me, and a hundred,
(several hundred on a good day like today) other
photographers with every kind of camera coming
back, again and again, to the Lighthouse on the
Nubble, off the tip of Cape Neddick…I admit, most
do not have my interest in image quality, but they
all recognize a quality image when they see it.

And the second part of the story? If you did a count of the number of Christian Churches with Lighthouse in their name, it would, without doubt, amount to thousands…perhaps a hundred thousand or more around the world. It is such an obvious metaphor for the work any church worth its salt (and that is, of course, another reference from the words of Jesus) is supposed to do in this world: to hold up Jesus, the light of world, to turn anyone with eyes to see away from the rocks of this life and bring them safe to shore.

But Lighthouse is also a great metaphor for what each of us is supposed to be in this world. If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light…and that light shines out just as the light of God shines in. Each of us should hold up Jesus in our faces so that those around us know at least that someone cares enough to warn them of the rocks, and stands as a reminder that there is an alternative. Our bodies are lighthouses, or should be. Each one of us who claims the name of Jesus.

So, stand up tall on the line between the sea and shore, and shine brightly today, and every day. Happy Sunday!

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