In the Lighthouse
“Mama,” little Lucas tugged at his mother’s skirt. “I want to go watch for Papa.”
Turning from counter to table with a bowl of batter in her hands, Crystal nearly tripped on her little son. “Lucas,” she sighed, “I jest took ya nearly to the top o’ the lighthouse not thirty minutes ago and there was no ship to be seen.”
“But, Mama,” persisted the little boy sampling a raisin, “the ship might be there now.”
“Aye, that it might, but most likely it won’t come in ‘till tomorrow at the earliest. Now do, Sonny, run along and play. I can’t take any more trips away from this kitchen. Perhaps Uncle Trevor will take ya out.”
Sadly Lucas shook his head. “He’s gone.”
“Then,” she coaxed with a smile, “yer Grandfather might be willing ta take ya oot inta the snow.” The Irish lilt of Crystal’s tongue had never been fully erased.
Lucas opened his eyes wide with an eager, excited look. “Can I really go out to play?”
“Tis Christmas Eve day, o’ course ye can go if yer Grandfather is willin’ ta take ya. The snow won’t dirty yer clothes like the mud o’ last Easter.”
Lucas grinned and, after opening his mouth for his mother to pop in a plump raisin, he trotted off to find Grandfather Uriah.
Willing to please his young grandson, as well as longing for a sight of his son’s ship on the horizon, Grandfather Uriah agreed to Lucus’s request to go out. The air was cold and the snow crunched under the feet of the two watchers. Nearing the cliffside, they paused.
“Put me on your shoulders, please Grandpa,” Lucus begged, lifting his arms. “I’m too little to see anything down here.
Grandfather grinned and soon had the little lad settled on his shoulders. “Can you see now, Sonny?” he asked.
“I can see most to the other side of the ocean, I think, but I don’t see Papa’s ship.”
“Well, it might not come in just yet,” Grandfather replied half wishing that his eldest son had not chosen the life of a sailor.
All was quiet save for the muffled crashing of the water on the cliffs below. Faintly the jingle of sleigh bells in town came to them over the still evening air. The sun was beginning to set.
“Come, Lucus, you can help me light the lamps so that your papa can see them the first thing.”
“Oh, yes!” the little boy exclaimed eagerly as he was set down in the snow. “We will light them for Papa tonight, Grandpa.” Gleefully, the fourth generation of Donavans to serve in the Garlandsburg lighthouse set off on his sturdy legs to light the lamps for his Papa. “This will bring him home for Christmas,” Lucas explained as he toiled up and up the winding staircase after his grandfather. “If little candles in windows are for travelers then the big light is for ships to come home for Christmas.” Lucus smiled. He felt sure his papa would come home.
I hope you enjoyed it.