We ventured on a short walk from our inn in Monterey and made a delightful discovery. The point of land lay less than a mile away, and on the edge of the rocky coastline sits a lighthouse. The Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the entire West Coast.
Like most lighthouses, this one features steep, winding, worn stairs up to the light.
The light no longer requires someone to climb the steps and light the lantern with oil or kerosene. All is automated now. The light is on all the time at 3 seconds on, one second off as its identifying signal.
The lighthouse keeper in The Light Between Oceans writes this to his girl back home about the light he tends:
“The stars had been around since before there were people. They just kept shining, no matter what was going on. I think of the light here like that, like a splinter of a star that’s fallen to earth: it just shines, no matter what is happening. Summer, winter, storm, fine weather. People can rely on it.”
And so the light at Point Pinos shines day in, day out, along this rocky coast — lighting a path to safety for all those at sea.