Well, today was the big day … the day of the total solar eclipse and there were many things I learned witnessing something I will never see again … unless I move to the other side of the earth and live past 100.

But, before you skip to the end to see what I learned about Santa Claus, please read the rest of this offering … maybe you’ll learn where wisdom can be learned … in every event you encounter every day.

I woke up this morning in great anticipation of the day ahead, just as I do every day, but today had real significance … a once in a lifetime event … a total solar eclipse.

Normally, big events … once in a lifetime events, are just that … once in a lifetime, and you don’t want to miss out on something like that … there are no second chances.

As a photographer, every shoot you do with “once in a lifetime” implications, the closer you get to the event the more the tension builds and the more you begin wondering if you can live up to self expectations of the work you are about to embark on.

Now, me? Well, since I am retired I don’t fret much … I have no one to impress and my livelihood doesn’t depend on it … but, I still like to produce quality.

At first glance, the second I saw the dark dimple of the moon break the fiery edge of the sun … my blood started pumping and I grabbed my camera … I didn’t stop shooting for another two-plus hours, which was when the moon cleared the sun on the other side … total daylight again.

During the shoot many things ran through my mind, especially things related to my writings here and the theme I’ve had here and other places before … “Find a Way to Shine.”

Life is full of ups and downs. You wake up in the morning expecting good things … some days things go well. Other days, not so well.

The eclipse reminded me that no matter how bright the day begins, darkness is always around the corner and can change our lives just like day and night.

Today, while watching the eclipse complete its cycle, it also reminded me how easily one event has the potential to turn everything upside down … you should have heard the night crickets here during the middle of the day.

But, beside what I am about to tell you about Santa Claus, the next best thing I learned during the total eclipse is the darkness we all experience comes and goes.

Sometimes the darkness will creep in slowly, but eventually it will pass. Not even something as celestial and powerful as the sun or the moon can keep the earth darkened forever … and neither will the darkness, nor our trials.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, it this case, the completed eclipse … and there is always a way to find a way to shine.

Even as I sit here writing, my ulterior motive of spending most of the day taking photos of the eclipse was to prove Santa Claus could, in fact, get around the world in far less than 24 hours.

So, tonight I am waiting for the moon to come out … to prove once and for all Santa Claus can do what all the doubting Thomas’ say Santa can’t do, but alas, the moon is not visible tonight … .

… But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. So, as a way of making my point, I will just say this … the moon was visible last night and early into the morning today, and today at approximately 2:38 p.m., it blotted out the sun proving, in fact, the moon can travel around the earth in far much less time than 24 hours.

So, Santa … I believe. I’ll put in my wish list later.

On a lighter note … Monday, my son will start Kindergarten. He is nervous about starting at a new school and making new friends.

I told him … “They don’t know you, so you can tell them at your old school you were the best thing there since sliced bread, that you put the ‘Obi’ in Obi Wan Kenobi and you put the ‘P,’ since you are a Peeler, in PB&J.”

I worry about that boy, since he repeats everything I say … I’m not sure if I am ready for Monday to be here, but if it goes downhill and he repeats what I said, I will always practice what I preach and find a way to shine.