Days like that are fun to be in. I was walking over to the grocery store, wearing my favorite jacket (which by now is severely shape-challenged), carrying a tote bag over one arm. I recall that the sun was winking.
Suddenly a carload of teenagers appeared out of nowhere, like misdirected lightning, and hurled their vehicle around a corner. They missed swiping three pedestrians by a hair. A thin hair.
I jumped. The suddenness of it threw me into an unsettled place, and I began walking overcarefully, as though I were sidestepping broken glass. By the time I arrived at the store I was in a fret. My mind was chattering - always a bad sign.
So I needed to recenter. There was a friendly little delicatessen planted right next to the grocery; I went inside the deli. Immediately I was engulfed in that delicious aroma common to all delis everywhere: spiced meats, cheeses, garlic, tomato sauce, creative pastas. You know: food cooked the way you wish mom had cooked it.
There was a huge, eclectic beverage freezer in back; I pulled out a mainstream soda and took it over to a table. Sat down, drank some soda, inhaled the glorious essence of deli. For a while I just sat there with closed eyes, remembering how I felt when the day began, and how the sun had waved hello to everyone.
After I while, my mind got quieter. I thought about how much fun it is to be a teenager, full of vim and vitamins and ready to attempt spirited speeds in your car.
A moment or two later, I began to see they meant no harm, that carful of youngsters; they were simply trying out one of the planet's toys with sixteen year old abandon. Their energy scared a few of us; it hurt no one.
As I thought about the way minds work when they are in teen mode, and recalled the years I had worn that very same mindset, I began to relax even more. Not long after, I even managed to start chuckling over the entire incident.
The deli owner saw me smile and asked me why. I told him the soda had turned out to be especially nourishing, and then inquired if he had some fresh sliced turkey. He did. I bought it. It was lovely.
On the way home, no car swooshed by me at a dizzying pace, but if it had I would have been ready. I would have stepped back, paused, and tossed a pound of Peace after it.