With January comes more time with family and loved ones. The shorter days of mid-winter mean “quitin’ time” is more like 5:30 or six o’clock. Because the lighthouse plays host until sundown, our midsummer days stretch on to near 9 p.m. What we get now, instead of more time to welcome visitors and to see the wonders of our views take their effect on folks’ outlook, is some time in the evenings to reflect on things we are grateful to feel.
Oh, yes, even the view from the top of the lighthouse gets a little different in wintertime. The western horizon is a little more likely to show us a billowy frame of cumulus clouds, and the colors behind them are more likely to shade toward purple than orange, as the sun goes down. Yet, the change in how we appreciate this wintertime view comes from the inside.
A Higher Value
It is possible that we place an even higher value on this view in midwinter? It’s hard to beat the exhilaration of summer and the faster pace of activities we see people enjoying then. What we get instead, this time of year, is maybe a richer appreciation – not only of our view, but of all that the view inspires among the folks who come here.
Shorter days and earlier closings seem to have the same effect as on anything that has become a little more rare. We see more clearly how precious it is.
When the Sun Slips South
Because our lovely planet is a little bit tilted, sunset seems to sneak south as the year draws to a close, setting behind the tip of Daufuskie Island by around Thanksgiving, and even farther down Calibogue Sound by Christmas. But never in the half century since the lighthouse was completed, nor in the 30-plus years that we’ve welcomed guests to our Shoppe at the Top and the viewing gallery that surrounds it, have we appreciated this dance of daylight more than we do nowadays.
A deeper appreciation comes with reflection. A successful songwriter from Canada once said that everything he heard in the American South sounded like music to him. “No wonder jazz and blues and rock were born here,” he said. That same kind of reflection – seeing the familiar from a different point of view – is what we sense at the Harbour Town Lighthouse now, in the wintertime.
Changing the View of Life
People get married here. Even more often, they get engaged. More often still than that they make other life decisions from a new perspective because everything seems to look a little different from the Harbour Town Lighthouse, for people who pay attention. Men and women decide to build a business of their own, choose a different career, or commit to making Hilton Head Island their full-time home – and these are just a few examples. The feeling people get from the beauty here seems right for turning over a new leaf, or for turning the page to a new chapter. How perfect for beginning a new year!
All Kinds of Journeys
Standing as a symbol of navigation, of finding your bearings and charting your course, the Harbour Town Lighthouse and our team here have seen all kinds of journeys. That privilege comes with the job. With our vast variety of visitors over the years, the stories told here take in as big a panorama of human experience as the unforgettable view from the top of the Lighthouse. We love getting acquainted, and our guests make the Lighthouse a treasure chest of life and its stories.
Come join us and have a taste of gratitude – and optimism. Even though the mid-winter sunset still seems to come awfully early, sunrise and sunset grow a minute or two farther apart every day now. We know our days are getting a little brighter all the time, and we are grateful.