On a distant port, there's a lighthouse, and every night, the lighthouse keeper spirals the one hundred and thirty steps leading to the top, and starts the daily ritual of cleaning the lenses and mirrors, he oils the lighting system and turns the powerful lamp on..and waits.
He looks out the window into the sea of darkness..in search of light, ironic..since his purpose is to be sought, darkness makes the sea infinite as it removes the thin line between heaven and earth, tonight marks the twenty fourth year since his first night here, but just like the past anniversaries, his celebration was marked by one thing...being here.
He throws a couple of logs into the fireplace in the corner and lights a fire, the sizzling sound of burning wood breaks the melodic echos of the rushing seawaves as they hit the rocks on the pier; earth, wind, water and fire..all melt into one tonight, as they become the guests of honor in the lighthouse keeper's party. He puts the kettle on the fire and brews some coffee, the aromatic scent of coffee reminds him of past days, happy days those were, people who passed, people who took the very same sea he's watching over and sailed away..into the sunset, leaving behind the lighthouse..where the sun rises, as they left behind the man who rises to his duties as the sun sets, he ponders at the mysterious concept of time, day and night, light and dark...he's a man of light, although he makes his living out of the existence of darkness, without it he would've never been able to build the little house on the hill, he would've never been able to grow a family tree of his own.
He takes out a book; James Joyce's "Ulysses", a lighthouse keeper reading Ulysses!!..he thinks to himself with a subdued smile.."Thank God I never ended up being a college professor, I would've probably been blind by now..or crazy, probably both".
The kettle adds life to the party with its announcing whistle, he pours himself a cup of coffee, looks out the window again, and returns to his book, pausing every once in a while..looking out the window..and looking at the bright stars above, he's been looking at those stars for the past twenty four years, and by now..he knows each one by name, although it is only him who knows those names..he named them after stars in his life; his wife, his two daughters and his son..his mother and father are also there..a bit higher in the night sky. He knows where to find each one as they move across the horizon, and amazingly, sometimes..he feels the presence of one or the other..as their star shines a little bit brighter than usual, a cosmic sign of comfort..his stars are here, when he wants them.
Day light is approaching, and his role in his own Ulysses is drawing to an end, he provided guidance to so many lost ships in his past, he still remembers the thankful faces of sailors who had almost lost hope of ever seeing their families again, until they saw his light in the distance, those sailors are still thankful, they still check on him whenever they're sailing close to that lighthouse, they bring their sons and daughters..introducing them to the man whose light renewed their lives..showed them the way home.
He turns off the lamp, the big lamp in the sky has taken over now, he extinguishes the fire, tidies up the place, cleans the lenses and mirrors again, he takes one last look out that window..scanning the scene as far as he can see, he shuts the window, descends the one hundred and thirty steps, and shuts the door behind, as he walks back up the hill for the last time, his time as a lighthouse keeper has come to an end, and from now on, he will be a character in Ulysses, a philosopher..a man of enlightenment, and a retired man of light.
Funny how his relationship with light..influenced his mind, light was his bread earner, light is his food for thought, he still watches the sea, the stars and the night, he still sees the faces of his stars as he looks into the night sky, and he still feeds the fire with fresh logs; from his little house on the hill, he made his own little lighthouse..for minds, and hearts.