With friends away, I’m able to borrow their home that has the waves of Swanage Bay lapping beneath the windowsills. Lying in bed, with the window open, listening to the storm in the bay takes me back to a childhood ambition.
Growing up, I wanted to live in a lighthouse, far away from people. A series of not too serious but unpleasant experiences led me to conclude, at a very early age, that I was better off alone and isolated. The lighthouse seemed the perfect haven from the storms of life.
It took many years to change my opinion about the value of being sociable! Over the last two weeks, I have begun rehearsing with a handbells group. I seriously wonder if this is the most fun you can have with your clothes on! It’s so much fun and even, occasionally, a pleasant sound. The camaraderie is something to cherish.
So, I ask myself, “Lighthouse or Clubhouse? Which will I choose in future - Seclusion or Society?” There are days when people are complete and utter energy vampires, mood-hoovers of the worst kind, but those days are few and far between. For the main part, I radiate (rather than drain) and I seem to attract other radiators. Together, we stay warmer longer!
What I’m trying to say is that I need people – even as an introvert. Living in a lighthouse would be for me to run away again. Occasional times in isolation are gorgeous, and yet I now recognise that building strong relationships is the greatest way to ascend above the clouds of low mental health.
Let me conclude with a couple of questions and then share a sight that made my day - hoping that it will make your day too
The first question is, “How about you? Are you more lighthouse than clubhouse, or clubhouse than lighthouse?”
My second question is, “Are handbells as a group activity really the most fun you can have with your clothes on, or do you have a better suggestion?”
And finally, the sight that made my day beside the bay... It’s stormy at the moment, and a floating piece of driftwood travelling into the bay became the perfect perch for a creative seagull. I watched, delighted, as the seagull seems to surf nonchalantly into the harbour
No lesson to be learned but a comedic moment, nevertheless, to be treasured and shared with your imagination.