Years ago, I learned the value of slowing down when I ate. I was watching my weight. Food was limited. I wanted to enjoy every bite.
I am also a sipper of coffee. I don’t gulp it down in the mornings just to absorb the caffein. I like to hold the warmth, savor the first sips, taste the depth of its bold flavor and the richness of the cream.
I’ve been a journaler, a record keeper, a saver of memories for many years. My stack of notebooks fill one shelf and overflow to another. I look through them for reference. I re-read them occasionally to remember. I need to remember my life.
“I wanted to look at the words, savor the experience, feel the joy, and live every moment. I was so afraid I would forget what had happened to me.” — Nicole Johnson, Fresh Brewed Life
I write, partly, so I won’t forget what happened to me. At this age it is important to recall what I did yesterday, what I ate, who I spent time with, what words we shared with each other. I want to remember. And I want to taste and savor this life I’ve been given.
And isn’t that exactly the thing? Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride. As I hear of another death, and then another, I am reminded again that Life is Short.
How often I’ve zipped through my day, crossing off items on my list, getting the job done, finishing that task so I move to the next one and feel like I accomplished something at day’s end?
But did I taste my life? Did I savor the conversation? Did I notice the blue sky, the bloom of flowers? Did I take in the fresh smell of cut grass? Did Maisie’s antics amuse me or aggravate me? Did I enjoy the process of living today?
Did I truly listen to Sweet William with whom I share my days? Or was I multi-tasking and only processing the gist of what he said, while I was busy with lesser things? Did I seek to understand?
Did I text or call the person who’s been on my mind? Did I send the card I’d been meaning to mail? Did I say “yes” to someone needing to talk? Did I accept the interruption in my day as an invitation from the Father?
Did I spend time with the Living God? Did I pray?
I’ve gobbled down on-the-run meals when I just needed sustenance. I didn’t enjoy my food. The pleasure of the taste was lost in my hurry.
I’ve lived some days the same way. Survival mode. Get through it. Hope the strength will last until I fall into bed at night.
Savoring life has to be intentional. I have to think about it. I must look for the joy. Sometimes it is a fight to count grace, to actively seek contentment. When I stumble into the pitfalls, I must put on a hard hat, stepping carefully through the rubble, and hope I don’t get hit with a two by four. Even there, I can find something beautiful.
I believe joy is present if I look for it. Maybe I will catch a glimpse through tears. Perhaps I will fall on my knees, face to the ground in surrender to the in-control-God who works good out of devastation and brings beauty from the ashes. It could be that walking by faith in the thunderstorm, searching for the rainbow, is my modus operandi for today.
It becomes the necessary goal, to taste life, the sweet and the bitter, the salty and the bland. It’s the mixture of all the flavors that gives it zest. This is what teaches me to endure, what helps me learn compassion for others, and what gives me reason for joyful celebration.
Smell the aroma. Anticipate the pleasure. Taste your life. It is full of grace, and it’s amazing.