I am the loneliest lighthouse in the world. I live in the Baltic Sea, between Finland and Estonia. I have no land to call my own, just this tiny, ship-sinking rock I call my home. You can’t see the cliff edge on which I’m perched, but it’s just there, beneath the churning, inhospitable sea. The only visitors I have are the wandering spirits of dead sailors, from ships torn asunder by that sneaky piece of ocean floor. More deadly than an iceberg, my rock has ripped the wood from a hundred hulls. And thus, I’m here.
I stand, hard, cold, warning with the brightest Fresnel lens I can shine, of the danger below. And thus, all avoid me. I see them passing, far away from me. Big tankers carrying oil and gas and multicolored boxes like giant Lego blocks, neatly stacked. Big ferries, carrying cars and dogs and semi’s full of fruit and paper and all man needs to live. I see people dancing in lighted windows, moving to music that comes to me across the waves. I see fishermen, going out for days at a time, coming back full and weathered and proud. Planes pass over me, never knowing I am down here, blinking at them the way they blink at me.
Waves constantly pound me, a white splash against black rock, the spray sometimes reaching halfway up my red-painted stone. In really high seas and stormy weather, the waves come nearly up to the white crown on my head. But ever turning, ever shining, I guard these waters and keep the sailors safe, so they may return to warm hearts and warm houses.
Sometimes, a whale ventures near, rolling a big, dark eye toward me, then diving again, toward water less turbulent. Only the strongest birds make it all the way out here to me, so very far from any other place to alight. Mostly, it’s just me, and the waves, and the sun and the stars, and the cold, cold wind. I am the loneliest lighthouse.