photo by NASA

Harriet shielded her eyes from the bright sun as she scanned the water’s horizon from the tower room of the lighthouse. Not a cloud in  the sky. It’ll be a calm day today, thank God.  I won’t have much to report.

This was not always the case, however. In the forty years that Harriet Colfax served as light-keeper of the Michigan City Light Station on the shore of Lake Michigan, she had experienced a wide variety of weather. Her logbook contained records of hailstorms, nor’easters, snowstorms, gales, and ice storms – many which threatened her life and damaged or destroyed the lights.

But she also witnessed the glorious, colorful displays of the Northern Lights, the brilliant displays of stars and gorgeous sunsets.

Harriet went about her chores to polish the brass of the lantern and clean the windows. The sky began to darken and Harriet looked up, curious as to where the cloud had come from. A most startling sight greeted her. As she watched, the moon moved in front of the sun, hiding it except for the bright ring of light, a ring of fire that encircled. Harriet was mesmerized by the sight which only lasted a few minutes.

One thing Harriet learned in her lifetime as a lightkeeper was the unexpected blessings provided by her Creator which she was privileged to witness. Today’s log entry would record the first eclipse she’d ever seen.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1