A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Friday, 29 September 2017

My home, my marriage, my husband, and my honeymoon - all wrapped up in one little lighthouse

Originally published August 2014

There are so many potential meanings for a lighthouse charm! In fact, I had so much to say about lighthouses I'm going to have to do a Part 2.

The Northwest Arm at the end of my street.
First of all, lighthouses remind me of home. I grew up by the sea. You never knew what today's weather would be until the fog burned off in the morning. My daily chore was to get the clothes off the clothesline before the fog rolled in again in the late afternoon - before my mom got home from work. And fireworks were frequently cancelled due to fog. Lighthouses were necessary in Nova Scotia!
I could walk ten minutes from my house and sit and look out at the ocean - which I did quite often. Going for a hike would afford even better views of the wide blue expanse. My husband and I live in the centre of Canada now and I miss the sights and the sounds - and even the smells - of the sea.

Looking out to sea from York Redoubt

A tall ship passing by the lighthouse on George's Island

This lighthouse is on a small island in the mouth of the harbour in my hometown of Halifax. During earlier times of tall ships, as well as more recent years of naval business, and giant container ships and ocean liners, this lighthouse would guide ships safely through the narrow mouth of the protective harbour.

Carter's Beach on the south shore of Nova Scotia

The province of Nova Scotia, where both my husband and I grew up, is an isthmus (almost an island) edged by rugged coastline (and white sand beaches) and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean - and fog! And all of that coastline is protected by lighthouses.

Probably most famous is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, a popular tourist attraction, but also well-known as the site of the crash of Swissair flight 111.

Peggy's Cove lighthouse (photo by Edna Bingham)

For centuries Nova Scotia's lighthouses were used to guide and protect sailors, leading them away from rocky shores and dangerous cliffs. For sailors or travellers who had endured many difficult months at sea a lighthouse was a beacon of comfort and brought joy that they were home.

In a storm the lighthouse may have been the only light. When the skies were too dark and stormy to see the coast, the lighthouse warned that land was near and guided sailors safely home.
With a history of shipbuilding, fishing, pirates and rum-running, the lighthouse, "standing proudly against the elements," is said to be a symbol of the province's maritime history and spirit.
In addition to representing "the home of my heart," the lighthouse represents my marriage on my "Always and Forever" bracelet.

The lens that magnified and concentrated the beam of light
are stable structures that have endured many storms, just as a marriage does. The lighthouse keepers worked tirelessly to ensure light for those at sea, saving many lives and bringing sailors home. The lighthouse can represent the persistence, diligence and steadfast determination required to keep a marriage strong. And the lighthouse reminds us that there is always someone out there watching over us.

The symbolism of the lighthouse so aptly describes many of the attributes of my husband, especially as he provides stability when I struggle with depression. This may sound a little cliche but here goes.

He reassures me when I'm navigating difficult times.
He gives me light in the midst of darkness
and he reaches out to me when I am drowning.
He keeps me safe when I am in a storm
and he guides me home when I am lost.
The western lighthouse on Brier Island built in 1809
And finally, the lighthouse reminds me of our honeymoon.  The 8-sided Pandora lighthouse dangle resembles this iconic octagonal wooden lighthouse on Brier Island (at the far western end of the province) where we spent our honeymoon hiking and whale-watching - in the fog!

The lighthouse dangle on my Always and Forever bracelet

Related Posts:

The lighthouse part 2 "I'm higher up in the lighthouse" - a story about the importance of the lighthouse when you're battling depression or feeling like you're not getting anywhere.


  1. So far this is my favorite post.
    Just beautiful. Every couple should be a lighthouse to each other to make all the way "till death do us apart"

  2. Jenny (Cameron) Devine28 August 2014 at 19:26

    I loved reading this....thank you! I am also from Nova Scotia, living in London Ontario for 6 years now....missing home very much!

    I lived on Parkhill Road in Halifax in the 70's. I found your name on Facebook when I was searching for a childhood friend that I haven't seen since 1977 - age 10 - to say "Hello & hope you are well'!" I would like to ask you to pass along a message to that person, if you don't mind.....? (His Facebook account is restricted & I sent a message in April but he would have to know to look in "other messages" to see it!) Please feel free to send me a friend request on Facebook for more information if you like....or you can contact me by email at: jld0817@hotmail.com I also understand if you don't wish to respond. In any case....I really did enjoy your blog....thanks again!

    Jenny (Cameron) Devine