© 2011 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
In the Shadow of the Lighthouse
The foghorn was blowing relentlessly, soft and sad, the night
we first talked about forever.
Do you remember? We were at the shore.
It was an early October night, and you just weren’t sleepy.
“Foghorns sound sad. How come?” you asked.
“Oh, maybe just because they have seen too many shipwrecks,”
You were silent for several minutes, and then you said,
“Do you know what sailboats remind me of?”
“No,” I replied. “Tell me.”
You hugged me close around the neck and said,
“Sailboats remind me of forever.”
You spoke so softly in the misty, damp dark as we lay, peaceful,
breathing in the salty air and listening
to the the music of the crickets and the sea.
That was the night I first realized what an old soul inhabits
your newly-minted child’s body.
That was the night I discovered that you feel things like I do,
the waves of the ages washing over you and binding you
tightly to all time.
That was the night, lying in the shadow of the lighthouse,
that I knew your path would be uphill, strewn with stones,
not level, smooth as glass.
My path is rocky too.
My hand is here for you to hold when all the world
seems gray and indecipherable,
the mist too thick to penetrate alone.
I promise I will listen.
I cannot promise to agree, or even to always understand,
but I can promise you I will listen.
If I can light a beacon in the woolly enveloping fog
of the mysterious unfolding world,
I will shine it brightly for you.
©1997, renewed 2010 RC deWinter
My beloved son, Eben Lassen, died in his sleep in the early morning hours
of my birthday, February 3, 2007. Eben, I know you are sailing now.
Digital oils from a photograph by Chris Lassen, shot December 28, 1987.
Tech specs: Photoshop 7, Filter Forge, Edge Distress, Akvis Oils