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    Posted August 9, 2014 by
    Cape May, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The lure of lighthouses

    Assateague Lighthouse: A Beloved Treasure amongst Wild Ponies


    The Assateague Island Lighthouse towers beautifully across the bay from Chincoteague Island, Virginia; an Indian name meaning "beautiful land across the water."
    I've been drawn to lighthouses for as
    long as I can remember. Lighthouses have always stood as a sign of hope and strength for me. Grief and loss have pervaded my life, but seeing a lighthouse being constantly whipped by ravaging wave after wave yet still standing strong the next day provides a great sense of peace and encouragement.
    They stand as a testament to an inner strength I strive to achieve. Their beacon of light is always strong enough to pierce the most vicious of storms and guide the vulnerable at sea safely home. I always find great comfort that amidst life's ravaging storms one thing stands resilient and constant. This symbol of formidable strength will not be taken down by even the harshest of life's tempests. They reach up to the heavens as if beckoning for the safety and comfort for those most in need. She stands alone but she stands strong.
    I have a mission to visit all the lighthouses in the United States. From the ones I've visited on the shores of New Jersey, the Great Lakes of Michigan, to the rugged coast of California, I have come close. Of all these noble guardians I've been fortunate to see, The Assateague Lighthouse is my personal favorite. From the little red schoolhouse-like oil shed to the signature red and white striped body, it is a quintessential vision that conjures up what a lighthouse should be. A wild Hibiscus trail entrance greets you. Inch-long leaping frogs sneak up from behind tall grass while the thunderous ocean beckons in the background. As you wind up the trail, the anticipation builds. The lighthouse is nestled between a serene bay and the vast ocean on a national wildlife refuge where wild ponies call home.
    As my father would always say, when I was traveling from far away or arriving late at night, "I will leave the porch light on for you." The lighthouse is just that to me. No matter what, someone is there. Whether we need it or not, it is a constant and endearing reminder there is hope. The light will always be on.

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