The oppressive heat kept us inside most of the day, and the confinement left me restless. I needed to get out. I persuaded Dave to take me for an evening ride with the promise of pizza and ice cream. We headed to Colonial Beach, where I hoped to catch a few pictures of the sunset on the Potomac River.

We sat on one of the benches along the tiny boardwalk where the breeze finally made the temperature tolerable and watched as daylight faded. My son had taken some gorgeous pictures just the night before, brilliant blues streaked with bright yellow and orange, but tonight the sky was painted with swaths of cotton candy pinks and blues.

I walked along the shore in quiet reverie, pressing the shutter with care. I took a few frames with the layers of water and sky. And a few more with old wharf pilings silhouetted against the horizon. And then a beautiful young girl walked into the frame. I watched as she gently nudged a jelly fish from the shore back into the water as if trying to set it free. I held up my camera and waved. She walked slowly along the beach, taking in the evening as though savoring every drop of summer. She had that rare ability to know she was being photographed and not care – no pretense, no guard, and no worry.

There was something about her innocence and tenderness . . . humbling me to see in this way.

Day 170

Day 170