It was naïve of me to think that they were still there. A passing group of women told me that the men, three of them, had stopped manning the lighthouse a long time ago, it’s all automatic. Someone comes once a week to maintain it.
“Would you like to join us for lunch?”
Well, why not. We walked through the trees away from the lighthouse and there it was – the house. “Come in, come in!”
And there was Matron, I’m sure that I have seen her before. We sat at the large dining table with a huge white tablecloth. Two of the girls brought in glass bowls of salad for each of us – maybe twenty persons. And baskets of cut home-made bread and big bowls of more salad and glass jugs of dressing.
Matron introduced me. “A big welcome to the Vicar of St. Martins in Treedle-on-Sea! It’s on the West Overcliff Drive.”
I said grace. I noticed that the girls poured the dressing, oil and vinegar and herbs, on their salads and on their bread. Very nice I must say.
When there was nothing left, and I mean nothing, two girls with two trays took all the bowls and stuff away. And they waited.
I took out my pocket bible, a modern one, and read the story of Ruth to them. I explained the story to them. They asked a few questions.
I looked around, they were all women, I looked at their faces, were they all women? They all had happy faces, but in each face was something sad, had life once hit them hard, I could see it in every face.