During the first part of February, I happened to visit Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at the beginning of yet another snowstorm.
My goal was to linger for a little while in hopes of experiencing a slice of wintertime solitude before logic, and an ever-thickening white blanket, dictated otherwise.
This snowstorm was not nearly as fierce as others this winter, but that didn’t stop swirling winds, laced with a bitter bite, from dashing snowflakes across the seascape in chaotic fashion. The scene was reminiscent of a child’s snow globe, except there was no need for the beholder to do the shaking – for the storm was doing just fine on its own.
As I observed the wintry landscape, it quickly became apparent that more than the falling snow and touches of white accumulating about Pemaquid Point Light Station, it was how different the area where ledge meets sea looked on this day that made the biggest impression upon me.
New England lighthouse historian Jeremy D’Entremont has noted that “Pemaquid Point, with its dramatic streaks of granite reaching to the sea, shaped by massive movements thousands of years ago, would be a fascinating place to visit even without its pretty white lighthouse. The spot is one of the most frequently visited attractions of the Maine coast, receiving about 100,000 visitors each year.”
Jeremy is point-on with his comments about this amazing place, yet on this February day, many visitors to Pemaquid Point would have been hard pressed to recognize the location’s deep-cut rock formations, for its appearance was temporarily altered by winter’s icy grip.
A series of snowstorms during December and January had filled in these streak-like veins, disguising their aged beauty and making it impossible to safely traverse their uneven surfaces.
With the latest storm only adding to the snow blanket’s shrouded depths atop the ledge’s rocky crown; I decided it best to admire the fascinating scene from the light station grounds above.
After gazing seaward for a bit, though low visibility caused by the storm was hardly affording glimpses of any great distances, I eventually made a complete circle of the light station and headed for the warmth of my vehicle.
Before stepping into my warm refuge, I took one last glance around the frozen landscape that culminated with a view of the tower’s lofty pinnacle.
I was somewhat shocked that the gorgeous Fresnel lens inside the lantern of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was missing its guiding glow under such conditions. As it was, automation technology had not yet activated the light despite the presence of the storm’s darkened mood, which prompted me to think, “if only the keepers of old were still on watch, this light would have been beaming bright in the snowstorm.”
Driving away, I softened my thoughts and took comfort in the fact that Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, regardless of the limitations of automation, is always symbolically shining bright in the hearts of the many people who admire this beacon for the emotional beams it stirs in their lives. May it always be so!