what does "It had shone as bright as the great light "mean? how could a house"shone?"
Through the chilly curtain of sleet, in the inter-mittent wash of the great light on the jutting cliff to the south, the massive silhouette of Bluff House loomed over Whiskey Beach. It faced the cold, turbulent Atlantic like a challenge.
Standing three sturdy and indulgent stories above the rough and rugged coast, it watched the roll and slap of waves through the dark eyes of windows, as it had—in one incarnation or another—for more than three centuries.
The little stone cottage now housing tools and garden supplies spoke to its humble beginnings, to those who’d braved the fierce and fickle Atlantic to forge a life on the stony ground of a new world. Dwarfing those beginnings, the spread and rise of golden sand walls and curving gables, the generous terraces of weathered local stone sang to its heyday.
It had shone as bright as the great light that swept the water off Massachusetts’ rocky and glorious north shore. And it had huddled, shuttered in the dark.