It was late afternoon on the promenade in Kaunas, Lithuania. I was taking a respite from the heat on a bench shaded by trees.
This young woman stopped at a bench across from me and a bit to my left. She was with another young woman, a young man and a child. The couple and child suggested songs for her to play and she played them.
She danced the bow across the strings with skill and talent and joy and love. Her songs filled the promenade and compelled me to stay seated even as I was long rested.
I have no idea what she was playing. It may have been classical pieces, it could have been local folk tunes. They each had a strong somber undercurrent that in turn filled me with sadness and joy.
I walked away.
After about a block the thrill of exploring was replaced by a longing to listen more.
I went back.
I asked her, using motions and body language, if I could take her picture.
I tossed a 5-Lita coin (about $2 CDN) in the violin case and made myself go back to the hotel.
I am so grateful to this woman for sharing her talent.
Yes, she was earning money for it and so she should, but these few moments where I was fortunate enough to hear concert quality music on a lovely European afternoon will be with me for the rest of my life.