Sun Worshiper

Last Saturday I was finishing up some photo-wandering on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall (a restored historic district and pedestrian mall) and was headed back to my truck when I saw this lady sitting on a bench in front of the ”Freedom of Speech” monument at the east end of the mall. It was a beautiful spring day—and after the long cold winter with historically heavy snowfalls—the sunshine was more than a treat—it seemed to have a healing quality.

It was obvious she was enjoying the sun—soaking up its warmth in a meditative manner. Her communion with the source of life on this planet impressed me with its primal beauty and simplicity.

As I approached she opened her eyes and I asked if I could take her picture. She apparently misunderstood my intent and said something like, “Those benches over there are too hard for a woman,”—an odd thing to say since the bench she was sitting on was solid stone and no other benches were in view.

I waved my camera and said, “I’m a street photographer—something I love doing—can I take your picture.” She nodded and closed her eyes. I shot half a dozen frames and continued on—she never opened her eyes.

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