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Untitled designI am not a person who likes to rush through a meal.  Usually when I eat, all of my senses are engaged.  Obviously taste, but also texture, smell, sight and even the sound of something as it is being eaten are important to me.  They’re all part of the experience.

If I’m trying a new dish I don’t want to miss the nuances and marriage of flavors.  I try to identify which herbs and seasonings were incorporated and from the texture can often tell which preparation techniques have been used.  

In other words, I don’t just CONSUME my food, I SAVOR it.  I leave it in my mouth long enough to appreciate the subtleties of taste and texture, to consider flavor and form.  According to Webster’s definition of “savor”, I RELISH, DELIGHT IN and ENJOY each morsel.  And yes, I have even been known to make a few moaning noises at the table when something is off the charts delicious!

My mom told me I have always been this way.  That even as a child I would rave over her good cooking and would often be the only family member at the table to compliment the meals.  I suppose I have always had an appreciation for good food and have usually found eating to be a pleasurable experience.  That’s nothing I really had to work at or learn.  But what I have had to acquire is the art of savoring each season of my life, an appreciation for each day that I’m given.

It seems when we are children we cannot wait to be older and have more freedom, more experiences and more independence.  Often the carefree days of childhood are only appreciated after they’ve been replaced with the responsibilities of adulthood.  Probably all of us have been guilty of wishing certain phases of our lives away.  My goal, instead, is to live grateful for the moment and to find joy in the journey.

What I have had to acquire is the art of savoring each season of my life, an appreciation for each day that I’m given.

Paul seems to have learned this life lesson when he says to his friends, the Philippians, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil.4:11)  If he were posting that today on social media it would probably be reposted with a couple of hashtags like  #lifegoal  and #paulforthewin.

When I began blogging two years ago, I quickly decided on the name Third Season for a couple of reasons. I am in the third quarter of my life so it seemed appropriate.   Also one of my chief goals is to encourage others to celebrate and maximize whichever season they are in.  In fact the blog’s tagline is “Savoring Life In All Its Stages”.  Not just to endure or to survive but to savor!  To enjoy to its fullest potential.

Having been on this earth more than six decades now, I have definitely seen some hard seasons and experienced some painful ones but those have just made the sweet seasons taste even sweeter!  It has also made me more determined to persist in the difficult times, celebrate bigger in the good ones and squeeze more life and joy out of them all.

The third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes lists a series of “seasons”.  These life seasons are paired in opposites:  life and death, planting and harvesting, killing and healing, tearing down and rebuilding, crying and laughing, grieving and dancing, scattering and gathering, embracing and refraining, searching and losing, keeping and throwing away, tearing and mending, being quiet and speaking up, loving and hating, war and peace.

King Solomon, known as the wisest man of his day, had observed that “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.”  In his later years he had learned the beauty of accepting each season, even the hard ones, with an eternal perspective and a trust in God’s timing.  

Probably all of us have been guilty of wishing certain phases of our lives away.  My goal, instead, is to live grateful for the moment and to find joy in the journey.

I can honestly say I have enjoyed every season of life I have experienced.  Early Childhood.  Adolescence.  Teen Years.  College.  Young Adult.  Young Married.  Raising Children.  Empty Nesting.  Grandparenting.  And NOW!  Now is a wonderful time.

My daughter-in-law called one day last week and asked what I was doing.  “Watching Rachael Ray’s cooking show and painting my toenails for our trip to Mexico,” was my reply.  She laughed out loud and said, “You’re really savoring this season aren’t you?”  Yes.  Savoring indeed.

We discussed how fun and how busy her world of school activities, carpools and ballgames was but how equally wonderful my season of freedom and less restricted scheduling was.  The beauty in it all is learning to celebrate the wonderful parts of the season you’re in.  I don’t have kids bursting through the door with excitement telling me about their day or the fun of sharing all their “firsts”, but what I do have is time to explore activities and interests that I may have put on the back burner for many years.  

One of the beautiful parts of this season for me has been the time and space to write.  I thank you, my readers, for encouraging me, for sticking with me and for cheering me on the last couple of years.  This week I am publishing my 100th blog post, an occasion I not only want to celebrate but also to SAVOR.  Just the fact that I wrote and some of you have actually read all one hundred is something I want to roll around in my mind for awhile.  To taste that slight hint of success, that sweetness of sharing with you, that pungent flavor of the hard things we’ve covered.

Before I move on and devour another platter of words from a favorite writer and before I dish up another serving for you, I just need to pause for a moment, to take notice of this occasion and to delight in its arrival.  Thank you for sharing my writing journey, for responding to my thoughts and for being a part of my blogging tribe.  The joy is so much greater because you are with me.