This late 19th century photograph of the Cabot Head Lighthouse on Georgian Bay inspired the character of Marged Brice..
Who is the woman standing in the doorway, at the entrance to what was once the kitchen?
She seems to be pausing for a moment at the door’s threshold—that is, in a space that is betwixt and between the inside of the lighthouse and a wild outside.
Inside are all her endless domestic chores: washing, cooking, laundry, tending to children…and yet it looks as if the wind has taken up the edge of her apron and is mischievously beckoning her to come outside into a wind-swept day and all that it might hold.
As a 21st century woman, I was strangely drawn to this figure. I, too, have felt the pull of the “inside”—all its chores, duties and responsibilities—and yet I also have found myself wishing that I could step out into a “wild” and see what it holds for me. I often feel like a person caught on a threshold—betwixt and between.
I wondered: did the woman turn around and go back inside? Or did she step out into the wind and sunshine?
Then it struck me. If she were alive today to tell me about her choice, the woman would be around 134 years old.