Thursday, February 25, 2010


"Day after day, the storm raged. Abbie had never tended the lighthouse by herself before. Many lives depended on her. While her father was delayed in town..."

We are in the beginning stages of our third monster snowstorm this winter--I and my family are heartily sick of it. According to the weather report, we are in for a foot of snow and 50 mile per hour winds. This neighborhood is notorious for power outages, and restoration can take days. Since our home is run entirely on electricity, we need to be prepared.

As I was gathering provisions, one of my favorite childrens' books came to mind. So I dug it out, re-read it, and cried. The book is called Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie, by Peter and Connie Roop. It's a simple story - it's a beautiful story based on a true account of a young girl who single-handedly kept a lighthouse lit during a massive storm off the coast of Maine. You might be wondering why a book written for children could make my nose burn and eyes tear. It's because it has always touched me on some deeper level. When I read it, I hear that still, small voice that urges us not to be afraid, but to get out there and shine. Lives depend on it.

"Don't go outside," said Lydia.
"You'll be washed away, too."
Abbie picked up a basket.
"I go outside every night," she said.
"I haven't been washed away yet."
She opened the door.
Water splashed into the room.
Abbie ran out into the rain.
She waded to the henhouse.
She put Patience under one arm.
She put Hope and Charity into the basket.
Just then she heard another big wave coming.
It sounded like a train!


Joan said...

I'm writing this quick before we lose electricity!
Children's books have a way of sneaking into my heart and wowing me, too.
You can't imagine how perfect your reference to this story is at this exact time.
Thanks and merry adventures with the storm,
Ma Ingalls!

Niamh said...

I remember that book! It was either read to me by a school librarian or I am manufacturing the memory altogether. Either way, I thought that story was incredibly empowering with the little girl taking it wholely upon herself to do her father's duty, simply because it was a duty to be done for the saving of the lives of others, regardless of the difficulty of getting the task done. Books about storms definitely good to have on hand when anticipating a big storm...also you need to have everything ready to make bread in the fireplace this time (since you didn't get to last time).
Maybe Zac will tell us how one came about obtaining the position of lightkeeper? I have wondered about this ever since Pete's Dragon. Does the town decide they need a light house? Does someone on their own initiative decide to build the lighthouse and keep it? Who pays for the fuel to keep the light and pay the keeper? I need answers!

Jodi said...

Niamh, this was a Reading Rainbow book. That's what you might be remembering in terms of being read to. It was read by an actress named Sada Thomson; she was librarian-ish. I used to cry when she read it, too. Random fact of weirdness about me :)

Treasures on GOD'S mountain said...

hi Jodi, I truly enjoy this 'reflection' on the Burning Lamp....i love Kids' bks., I like the cover on it..will keep my eyes open 4 this bk.
Toni :o)


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