Standing as a kind of sundial above the yacht basin, our Harbour Town Lighthouse creates a shadow that tracks the progress of the year in the way it moves rapidly over the course of a day, and slowly with the changing of the seasons.
In just a couple of weeks, we will set our clocks back, and admittedly it seems to take some of us longer to adjust than we recall from earlier years. Golfers and tennis players here in the shadow of the Harbour Town Lighthouse usually have good things to say about daylight savings time. Others, it seems, are not so sure. Complaining with a sense of humor, somebody posted a doctored photo of Stonehenge having its monumental slabs rearranged for the time change. (Stonehenge was more about dates than times, it is said, but we like the joke nevertheless.)
The Spectacular Show
Here at the Harbour Town Lighthouse, one of the benefits we enjoy when we set the clocks back is that our sunset puts on its show at about 5:30 p.m.. For lots of folks, the approach of sundown is perhaps its most beautiful, among all the lovely views from here. Our western horizon seems to create new and unseen colors every time we get to see the sun dissolve into the horizon beyond Calibogue Sound. All the colors – salmon and red-grapefruit and orange – appear original and unprecedented, even though for the lighthouse family they are a way of life. We get to see, in the hour leading up to sundown, and in the afterglow, the way a seaside sunset seems to color every molecule of air for a magic hour.
The Many Ways We Relate
Time passes differently here at the Harbour Town Lighthouse. The pace is something people feel easily, instinctively. The Gullah folks who were on these sea island before us used the word “peruse” to mean a special pace, the step of unhurried attention and pleasant passage. The lighthouse can surely accommodate a purposeful, efficient visit – we welcome that – but it does offer the other option of taking time, for those with time to enjoy it. The pace they called “peruse” seems to whisper its invitation to enjoy their time at the lighthouse.
With the approach of sunset, the very air seems to get gentler. In this season, that special time arrives even sooner, and as we get ready to “fall back” with our clocks and watches, the legendary sunset of the Harbour Town Lighthouse actually springs forward to greet us earlier than ever.
Whether this is your first visit to Hilton Head Island, or even if you fell in love and moved here to become a resident, don’t forget to savor the magic of sunset at the Harbour Town Lighthouse, now coming even earlier.