Saturday, April 4, 2009

paint the rocks with happy endings

When we were in Portland Maine I saw this...
...and it haunted me. I was literally struck by that statement, held still by its finality.

The contrast of the white script against the aged rock stood out like a brand. And the fact that somebody obviously and carefully repaints those words every year--like how one tenderly plucks the weeds from a loved one's gravestone--made me think how much this Annie C. Maguire was loved. And missed.

Because of course I thought she was a girl.

I wondered how she came to be shipwrecked on Christmas Eve so long ago, alone on the moody seas. Could she man a ship by herself? Or was she simply rowing a small boat, trying to get home before Christmas?

Hoping to get to the bottom of the story, I researched it and found out that Annie C. Maguire was not, in fact, a woman.

But she was a she.

A ship, actually.

A nice tall ballasted ship with many sails like the one from the Goonies.

And I was relieved to read how on that Christmas long ago, many families and friends received good news:

The Annie C. Maguire was headed for Portland Harbor coming from Buenos Aires, Argentina, when it hit the rocks at Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth on December 24th, 1886. The lightkeeper, Joseph Strout and his family were able to get a line to the mortally wounded ship and bring safely ashore all of the people on the ship...

I love happy endings.

And I am never going to stop believing in them.

So let's keep painting the rocks in their honor.

Not every rock, though, because that could get old.