It’s not that she’s persuaded me with words. She hasn’t needed to. Cara (www.alpineliving.com or @alpinedining) lets her culinary skills do the talking. During these past few months of lockdown, we haven’t actually been able to sit in her kitchen as she cooks and then sit at the dining room table to partake; we’ve been reduced to enjoying her feasts via her pictures of her masterpieces on her blogs. But we can almost smell and taste her delights through her photographs.
Even though I’m drawn to the instant delight of chocolate, I’m now realizing that a savoury meal not only tempts me to slow down as I eat, the flavours seem to stay with me longer. Perhaps it’s no coincidence the word savour is used to describe not only the flavour of the food, but also the experience of eating. Jim and I, both products of very large families, are finally learning the value of savouring a meal. In my family, we always sat at the table together, and we always appreciated our homecooked meals, but I can’t say we actually savoured them.
On Tuesday last week, while out hiking with my friend, Brenda, the conversation turned to a course she has been taking. The essence of the course is the study of the science of happiness. Brenda was explaining how the course works, how each week there is a different component of happiness to explore. Each week they have several assignments. Last week they were to savour something each day. One thing.
It was the perfect thing to be talking about as we hiked in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We often climb and climb, eventually arriving at an opening in the trees where we have a view of the majestic mountains. We always stop at these points and admire the view. We always take pictures, even though we’ve never been able to capture in a photograph the feeling we have standing there. We almost always say, ‘Look at this. How lucky are we?!’
We also find ourselves stopping along the way, even when we aren’t treated to the sight of the mountains. We stop to see forests of trees growing on hillsides, to catch a glimpse of an animal, to spot a woodpecker or a Whiskey Jack, to feel the wind, to smell the fresh air and to listen to the silence.
Without ever putting words to it, we have been savouring.
To savour something means to enjoy it as much as you can. Savouring is a gift we give ourselves. It can be done anywhere, with the focus on anything. Each individual decides which things are worth savouring. It costs nothing, but as I’m learning, can become priceless. Many of our most fond memories are made up of the times we have savoured the moment.
As I’ve thought more and more about savouring, I’m notice I’m doing it a lot more. I now look for moments in my day when I have an opportunity to savour. Savouring hasn’t changed what I do. It has changed how I interact with my day, how I’m more aware of moments, and how I appreciate them.
I take care of little Benjamin one day each week. This week, the day happened to be extremely windy and cloudy; not a good day for being outside. I was disappointed, since we always love our outdoor adventures. As we were finishing up breakfast, we could hear the wind howling. I remarked that it sounded stormy. Ben stood at the window for quite a few minutes, looking up at the trees in the yard. He said, ‘It looks like the trees are dancing.’
Savour. To enjoy something as much as you can.
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘What am I savouring?’