SAVOR : verb (used with object) to give a savor to; season; flavor. to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish: to savor the garden's odors. to give oneself to the enjoyment of: to savor the best in life.

I have fallen into the pattern of efficiency in eating my meals so I can move on to the next thing. It started in Army training. I can clean my plate with barely a breath in between bites. There are a few meals and foods that I really like, but I rarely spend time appreciating them.

This habit has caused me to ignore how my body is responding for the sake of efficiency. I’m certain I eat more than I need, simply because I am finished eating before my stomach has time to register the presence of food.

My belief though, is that slowing down to savor my food will bring a great number of benefits. Better appreciation of my food. An expansion of my palette. An ability to be more aware of my appetite and physical  condition.

A details of a shop inside Mercado de La Boqueria, in Barcelona.

Nearly all of that is also mirrored in how I treat events in my life too. I move through events with efficiency. I way too often am focused on completing the moment to move on to the next, rarely appreciating the current one enough.

While photography has helped in later recalling the moments I’ve loved, my desire to photograph it well can also be a separator. It can separate me from people and cause me to focus more on the work of capturing the moment than on the moment itself.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My desire for 2020 is that I can engage with each moment with awe and gratefulness. To taste and see the God is good in all of it. I also want to engage more fully with the people around me. I want to be less mindful of the things I might be "looking forward" to, and more mindful of my current surroundings and feelings, and the things that deep in the hearts of my friends and family. I really want to lean into curiosity and love for others this year.

Therefore, my word for 2020, is SAVOR.