Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

The Window

Well, we are all moved into Eshaness Lighthouse on the Shetland Islands. Furniture is still a little short but with a bed, kitchen table, chairs for the table, and a futon we can live. Thank goodness the house had kitchen appliances so eating is not a problem. I will be telling many stories about my adventures at the lighthouse but this month I want to answer a question which I have been asked by just about everyone since we took possession of the property. The question is "What is so special about it?" I could spend pages and pages answering that question. The answers are as varied as the fish in the sea. The first big thing I noticed was my bedroom window.

What could be so spectacular about a bedroom window? My bedroom window at Eshaness looks out on the Atlantic Ocean. Lying in bed I can watch a different drama unfold in that window every night. The days are long in Shetland in the summer time so the sun sets usually after I go to bed to read. Every one of those sunsets is different. I took a picture of one so you could get an idea. As the sun begins to set the bedroom walls starts turning all different colours from brilliant orange to a sparkling white or sometimes a mellow yellow. If you look out the window you see the sky and ocean creating a masterpiece of beauty which is always different depending on the weather.

As the sun finally slips behind the horizon and dark starts to claim the sky you would think it is time to stop watching the window and either go to sleep or read my book. Wrong! All of sudden a different phenomenon is framed in that window. A feathery gray ghost goes sweeping by. It is only a quick gentle sweep. The first night I could not figure what it was until I realized it occurred on a scheduled basis. Feeling like a dummy, I realized that it was the beacon from the tower. I live in a lighthouse for heaven's sake. How could I have forgotten that I just might see a beam of light pass by my bedroom window? Some lighthouse dweller I am. Seeing the gray of the beacon slip by as I fall asleep gives me a feeling of well being and happiness.

What is so special about living at a lighthouse? How many can say they have such dramatic things happening in their bedroom window?

P. S. It is not often that I can resist going outside either during sunset or afterwards to see the beacon rotate through the landscape. I thought I would close with a picture I took on one of the nightly trips.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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