Delray Beach, FL, December 2009
Quick note: This photo supports our latest theme, "What I did on vacation." We're in vacation mode through tomorrow (Wednesday), so you've still got time to share your own. The fun begins here.We'd been to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands before, but this was the first time the kids had gone without their grandparents, the first time I was here without my father. So as I walked across the worn wooden planks of the boardwalk and took in the never-ending spectacle of the stunningly preserved wetlands, I kept flashing back to the last time we were here, and how my father would "suggest" photo opportunities. As annoying as the process often was to me, this time out I found it strange to not have him pointing toward something or other.
So I did what I always do: Listened to my inner voice as I quietly recorded the scene through my lens, saying nothing about my latest moment of darkness to my wife and kids just ahead. It was a beautiful late afternoon, and the sun had come out to paint the wetlands in a gorgeously soft yellow glow: I could suck it up for a bit to keep everyone else from feeling glum, too.
Eventually, my little bit of lens therapy started to help. I lost myself in this amazing place, often falling way behind my family. As we headed out and the late afternoon glow intensified, our daughter pointed to the sky with one hand, jabbed my arm with the other, and told me to grab my camera. I wheeled and fired, barely having time to meter the scene before the magnificent bird at the top of this entry sped out of range.*
I guess she'd been learning my father's lessons after all. The voice of the next generation had stepped in in place of the voice of one we'd lost.
*The bird photo is technically underexposed, but I'm learning, albeit slowly, to not subscribe to the notion that every scenario has one absolutely perfect end result. Had I exposed for the bird, the colors of the sky wouldn't have saturated as well as they did. Had I taken the time to mull over the relative merits of different settings, I would have missed the moment entirely. Sometimes, the voice of your daughter in your ear can put things in their proper, immediate perspective.