He’s in his sixties or early seventies.
I’m on my first walk outside of my district after two months of prowling the same streets like a caged lion.
I see him out of the corner of my eye and am struck by the timelessness of this gesture; what could be more natural than taking a moment to enjoy the sun and be nourished by it? Take a moment to look at the face carefully. There are no signs of any stress; the right arm supported by the iron railing; the right hand, palm up, also receives the light and warmth of the sun. In reverie, one with all that is.
But this is not a normal moment, and that is what makes the image even more striking, because it is a reminder of our fundamental nature. Like all other living and metabolizing things, we are also heliotrope; it’s just that in ‘normal life’, we rarely take the time (because we ‘don’t have the time’) to come back to one of the simplest of simple pleasures – to breathe deeply in the sunshine and feel what it is to be alive. This simple act allows us to remember that life isn’t yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s anxiety, and that here, now, everything is fine and we are wanting for nothing.
Thus was my reverie in that moment. Suddenly, a woman turned the corner and I was brought back to the thrumming city.
Putting one foot in front of the other, I continue my walk.