A church bell chimed the half hour. I finally got up and went to a bench a little higher up the hill, out of earshot of the girl on the phone. I pressed my palms together, lifted my face to the sun, and breathed deeply several times, trying to be in the moment, observing the passing of the seasons.
Afterward, the calm and mindfulness remained as I ran errands. Sirens, car alarms, cigarette smoke, crowded sidewalks - I noticed them all, but they didn't make me as antsy and irritable as they usually do. I just took them in stride, as part of the rhythm of life.