The bench

My life’s path has led me away from my original profession as a pastry cook in the Institute of Social Care in Brezany, where I fulfilled my mandatory civil service duties. This experience opened my eyes and I came back to work as a tutor even after my civil service had ended. At that time, there were 170 people living in this village chateau. The tutors made a continuous effort to sweeten their lives with all sorts of events and activities. This time, it was a bonfire. On that given day, I arrived for my afternoon shift and without any real reason, I took my DSLR out of the car with only a tele-lens designed for photographing portraits and details. A moment later, I realized that I would need my wide-angle lens as well, so I had to go back to the car to pick it up. On the way back to my car I passed the one hundred year old lime tree under which lay an ordinary bench; a bench where Bohuska used to sit regularly.I don’t know her real name, but no one ever called her any thing else. However, this time, an elderly nun was sitting next to her, one who lived in the local monastery, which is a part of the chateau. She was the one that used to take care of Bohuska in the past, but on that day, they were simply enjoying the autumnal sunshine together. I immediately made use of my tele-lens and took a single picture. An instant later, the nun stood up and left. I continued to the car, took the other lens and returned to the bonfire to take pictures. For the next two years, I kept passing this lime tree but a similar situation never again presented itself. Bohuska kept sitting on the bench regularly, but all alone.

Na lavičce

I am not sure how long the nun sat next to Bohuska with her face hidden in her hands before I came along, but nevertheless my unpreparedness concerning my photo equipment and pure coincidence helped me capture this unique and very emotional moment.

Zdeněk Dvořák

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