Sometimes you need to listen to your friends. Not the ones that convinced you to try out that really terrible hair-style in high school, or skip that study session in college in order to bar hop, of course. I mean the friends that invest themselves in your dreams and support you with their enthusiasm and love. I have three such friends at Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia who, despite my rowing for a competitor club, always invite me to hop in a Vesper boat for a fabulous spin around the river. Tina, April, and Catherine agreed to let me bring my camera one morning and promised, hands over hearts, to keep the boat steady and balanced and to not splash water on my equipment. They were impossibly patient with me, stopping every few strokes to let the boat run while I shot photograph after photograph of the scenes that surround us on the river. I apologized each time I asked them to help me back up, spin, or otherwise adjust our position so I could capture the light just right. And each time, they laughed at me, told me they were happy to help, and asked if I wanted to take just a few more photos before we started off again. I have April to thank for this very image. She sits in two-seat, behind me, in our four-person boat. She also has a fantastic eye for color and light. While I was busy fumbling with my water bottle as we prepared to spin at the Twin Stone bridges, she tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the rumbling freight train slowly snaking its way across the river. “Take that one!” she encouraged. “The train?” I asked. “Yes! It’s beautiful!” she answered. I shrugged and decided to humor her. April can, after all, spot a hummingbird a half-mile away. I took my camera back out of the waterproof case, lifted it to my eye, and laughed. She was right. Without her, I would never have paid attention and the moment would have been lost.
Now this image hangs in my husband’s office and both my sons adore this photo: my oldest even spotted a yellow traffic light in the distance along Kelly Drive. Can anyone else see it? He must have eyes like April.