We stand in my drop-cloth covered, nothing-in-its-place, kitchen and talk for a good thirty minutes before everyone else arrives. It’s early morning and things are still invitingly silent. Phil, the lead painter on my, please let new paint and carpet be all my house needs to sell project, is with me. He shares engaging stories about his children and eye-sparkling descriptions of his fiancé (an introvert like him). He tells me of his grand appreciation for a good cup of coffee or a nice piece of fish. I tell him how book and music suggestions are my favorite gifts and how I relish an open afternoon.
As we wind down our conversation, Phil puts his phone in an empty bucket for amplification and asks me to listen to something beautiful. I listen and hear the most angelic and lovely voice rise from the lowly bucket. The heavenly sound ascends the messy surroundings. He tells me it’s his sixteen year old daughter. If she were my daughter, my heart would burst every time she sang. We stand transfixed. We savor the new light of morning, the after-glow of a meaningful conversation and the sweet sound of an enchanting voice.
And I was prepared to be completely annoyed by workmen in my house all week…;)
Precious gift of introversion and high sensitivity
The most precious gift of introversion and high sensitivity I have found is the ability to savor and be moved by simple things. Conversations can be heady. Food and flavors, sublime. Music speaks to me as if it were my first language. Time in solitude enhances the molecules in my body.
Can savoring be taught?
I believe it can. My parents were never flush financially but we oohed and aahed over fresh sweet corn or a crisp starry night. My mom showed us the beauty in fine clothing and the exquisite flavor of a roast cooked until it falls apart. My dad taught us to appreciate every genre of music and to pay attention to the nuances of nature. My step-mom taught us how to drink life from a paper cup and be happy. My grandparents taught us that slow is often better than fast when it comes to experiencing the richness of life.
Were my parents and grandparents introverts and/or sensitives? Yes and no. They could all be bubbly and social in a crowd but they also enjoyed the smallness of our clan. We lived out in the country so days were spent “in town” working but after-hours were spent in the rural quiet. My dad is a friendly doer but as he ages he seems more and more content to stay home. My mom has always had a penchant for downtime mixed with occasional social bursts. I think they all feel/felt things deeply.
I pray my kids develop the satisfying art of savoring. The tiniest new aspect of the latest Apple software mesmerized my boys. My daughter asked to go for a walk the other night to our neighborhood gazebo. As we walked on the trail between meadows, I had her stop for five seconds and just listen. We heard the buzz of zillions of insects and the solo hoot of an owl.
Savoring, succeeding and love
Growing up savoring was a subconscious act exemplified by my parents and emulated by us kids. As a post-college young adult I tasted all aspects of Chicago. I found the El (train) enchanting and Lake Michigan enthralling. The food options dazzled my mind and mouth. The Chicago skyline beguiled me. It’s depth and vastness gave me a mini high.
I moved away from Chicago and got busy creating and nurturing a family. I savored night nursing my babies in comfy chairs. I got to travel more than I ever had. I tasted the sweetness of financial security.
Then savoring simple things fell away to the drive and hum of keeping up with a busy, successful lifestyle.
Towards the end of my marriage I realized I was missing the slow pleasing satisfaction of savoring. My depth of feeling was stunted. It was all about surviving, succeeding and rushing. I was dying to slow down and feel connected to something bigger than myself. I was dying to feel connected to my partner.
I feel savoring life with another is the highest form of connecting. It’s appreciating beauty together. It’s awe and wonder. It can be the biggest love buzz ever.
Living large with very little
You don’t need much if you can let things linger in your senses, mind and heart. There is something so satisfying about paying attention deeply. It calms and expands you all at once. The smallest thing becomes a jewel of transcendence. It may only take a bucket full of music and a thoughtful conversation to inspire and light you up.
Are you a savorer? Are you moved easily and often? What would it take to enhance your ability to appreciate?
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