I grew up along the once remote shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The ocean, lighthouses, abandoned island villages were all a part of my soul. I loved taking my son to Long Island Light House and the now preserved Portsmouth Community, which once shared an Island. A Hurricane opened up a new inlet and divided the island several decades ago.
Now, the Outer banks has become so much like the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach. Hotels lining the beach instead of weathered cabins. Chain restaurants and flashy suburbs along the sound. Still, there are miles of protected land, wildlife preserves and quiet, lonely ocean walks to be had.
I had longed to go the coast of Maine, where I had heard there were still miles of rocky shores along the northern coast. Though I was used to the wind burn of blowing sand from huge dunes, I imagined that an isolated Rocky coast might cheer my soul.
After much planning, we decided to drive over a thousand miles to reach this area, hoping, at least to see the commonality of lighthouses on foreboding slivers of land, savor the wildness, the agelessness of the shore. We followed the signs through isolated fishing communities until we saw one that directed us to a lighthouse.
“Let’s go there!” I said excitedly. As we made the last turn toward the rocky beach, my heart were filled with disbelief. Surrounding the light, mixed in with the massive rocks , were some sort of gray barrels like containers. “What in the world…” I muttered to myself. In disappointment, I turned back toward the village to find out what had happened. The first newspaper rack I saw answered my question. It said, “Freighter crashes near lighthouse.” A tear ran down my cheek. It seems that what nature did not rearrange, man was sure to destroy. I longed for the wind and sand of home.