How often do you taste your food? I mean, really taste it.
Sometimes when I’m eating, I have a sudden epiphany of This food is absolutely delicious. It surprises me because I was eating too quickly or with too little attention. Hand-to-mouth out of instinct rather than intention. But when the epiphany does come, I notice that there are only so many bites left and only so much can be consumed without upsetting my stomach. So I chew slowly and enjoy each bite as much as I can. (Bonus! Savoring food also means reduced risk of choking.)
Unlike many other college seniors, I wasn’t ready to leave when it came time for graduation. I had transferred and so missed the full four-year experience (and four years of debt). In my last semester, I wanted to squeeze out all the sweet juice of the college experience until the last drops.
So I began planning coffee and lunch dates with people I wanted to know better. I made more friends in my last semester than in any of the ones before. I lingered after classes to talk to my professors and made office appointments to pick their brains. I attended campus events even when I knew I’d be up late finishing essays. I napped by the student lounge fireplaces and filled up my travel mug with the cafeteria’s free coffee. I took long walks around the campus by myself just because the sun was shining through the pine trees.
A similar season of my life has come up once again, and I’ve been pondering the word “savor.” Especially when I feel caught up in the moment exactly where I am, not where I used to be or plan to be in the future.
Now savoring looks like joining my housemates on the front porch. Without agenda or plans. Just enjoying the warm sunlight and waving at passersby. We have three months left in this house before we all part ways. Only one of us plans to stay in the city.
Tomorrow we will host a backyard BBQ for our neighbors. On one side of the house, there’s the family with the friendly boxer that had puppies. The other side has the clean and sober smokers who stand on their porches and talk to us over the wood fence, offering gardening advice. And there will be the little girl who always asks to play with my housemate who painted her nails once. We’ll set up the volleyball net that has been in our basement since we moved in. We don’t know yet if we have charcoal for the grill.
Many of my housemates are job searching for their next adventure. They don’t know where they will live or what they will do when they get there. My plans are more settled but not lacking in uncertainty.
I remind myself that all I have is this moment, this breath. The next is not guaranteed. I’ll enjoy what I have while it lasts.
Like spring blossoms that fall from the trees in showers of petals, making room for fresh leaves. Or like the dessert almost too pretty to eat. Maybe they are more beautiful because we know they won’t stay. Maybe it’s easier to treasure something because we know this precious moment will soon be gone.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
What will you savor today?