Four of us stood on the balcony overlooking Gold Medal Park in Minneapolis. Just beyond, in the darkness, the Stone Arch Bridge teemed with silhouetted bodies. All were waiting for the fireworks to begin on a perfect summer night. Except, the thing is, I have a fear of heights and my toes dangled between the balcony floor and the railing. Â Six floors down seemed like a looooooong way. Â Death winked at me from countless headlights below.
It was silly. I could have pulled back a little, but I wanted to rest my camera lens on the railing. The woman to my left had her wine glass tilted outwards, and I was afraid if I shifted I would bump her just enough to send it over the edge. So I stayed frozenâ€¦and tried not to look down. Once the firework display got underway, I would be okay. At least that is what I kept telling myself.
The woman to my right watched the throngs of people below. â€œWhy do they show up 15 minutes before the event and expect to find parking? Look at them!â€ I would have if it meant looking anywhere but down. I fiddled with my camera instead.
Behind me, my husband sat on a wicker love seat. He was a little restless and kept inadvertently pushing me forward, into the railing, with his knees. Surely the rail had been tested for strength and stability, right? Just then the woman to my left said, â€œI wonder how many people can safely be on these balconies? You always hear of them going down when too many starts partying!â€ She laughed while my butt cheeks tightened.
To my relief, the fireworks began. I alternated between holding my eye to the camera and looking upwards as the glittering explosives formed patterns of wonderment. I happily clicked away, hoping a few shots would be keepers. As the grand finale burst and ebbed, I sighed in contentment.
Another wonderful 4th with our friends, Rick and Claudia Kittock. I hadnâ€™t fallen to my untimely death either. Good, sturdy railings? The best part of my day!