Saturday was a day of savoring life.

Earlier in the morning I ran into an acquaintance at the local library. He asked me if I was still coaching soccer (I am) and I in turn asked him the same (he is not).

He mentioned that his soccer coaching days were over, as his children had moved on to high school sports or other activities. I quipped he must have a lot of free time on his hands. After a quick smile, a look of loss filled his face.  “Yeah, I guess.’

He acknowledged that he knew he wouldn’t be coaching his kids forever but it seemed to end abruptly and without much warning. Despite all the stress and time commitment, he missed it terribly.

Later that night, I uncharacteristically found myself at home alone. My children and wife all had other plans for dinner or shopping with friends.

I decided I would treat myself to a nice home cooked meal. I  sat alone with seared scallops, a tuna steak and a fresh cut avocado on my plate, After a sip of wine, I took my first bite.  It was, I must say, delicious. I ate more slowly than normal, savoring each and every morsel.

In between bites, I looked closely at the objects in my home. Pictures on the wall, pieces of furniture, knick knacks on shelves.  As I stared at various objects, I remembered its story of origin, how it came to be something I valued in our home. I appreciated each and every one of them, as much as I relished each bite of foot.

It was the best meal I had in quite some time and while technically alone, I found myself in the company of so much life and love.

The next day as I coached my kids soccer teams, I was more present. I joked more, and became less frustrated. Later sitting in my home, I was less annoyed by the mess in our home and more grateful for the life in it.

To savor something is to “enjoy it completely.”  It is a deep appreciation that requires us to be both present and aware of the transient, fleeting nature of our lives.

It is a way of seeing and experiencing our lives more fully.

It reminds me of a book I read many years ago by a young writer, Marina Keegan.  It was published posthumously as she died tragically in a car accident while on the way to visit her father for the weekend.  One line she wrote has stuck with me many years later – “And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short.”

All the more reason to savor all that surrounds us while we can.

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