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  • Tonight the spring breeze felt good against her bare arms. She opened her book and looked at the page, admiring the letters as they assembled into words and lines on the white paper. There was plenty of light to read. She always looked for that when she sat at a cafe.

    The server was polite. He slapped a cloth against the white laminate table as though to scare away the winter's dust. She put her feet up on the uncomfortable wire chair across the table from her and ordered a cider. The cafe didn't carry absinthe, of course, and the wine was overpriced and sour.

    She looked at the book again. The newly leafed trees cast shadows like eclipsed moons on the book's pages. She read: "x +y does not equal y+x." and later, this: ... "There is no such thing as a thing, no underlying solid reality, but only the space between, the indivisible relationships between things."

    The waiter set her cider down on the empty table. She thanked him. And gazed the short distance to the cars rolling by on the busy street.

    This had been a decade of solitude, of finding her own way. She had found comfort in the sounds of places like this, the voices, the scratch of chairs against the ground, the chatter of passers by and the clinking leashes of their dogs.

    These community places had stood out against the silence, which had held unexpected lessons. From the inner stillness had emerged the song of true friendship. And she was learning to respond to that call.

    She turned the page and focused. And did not move again until it was time to pay the bill.

    She tucked the book, The Bond by Lynne McTaggart, into her messenger bag. The chair made a scraping noise against the sidewalk as she pushed it back and stood up to leave.
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