The Art of Savoring

February 20, 2014

A few days ago I wrote about savoring. It’s worth writing more.

One of the great “hidden” truths of happiness is this: when it comes to creating more happiness in our lives, the biggest difference is made by the smallest, simplest things.

I like to bring my wife, Ana, a cup of hot tea in bed every morning when she wakes up. I bring myself one, too, climb into bed, and we sit relishing that hot, creamy-smooth, indescribably delicious first cup of the day. Most times after the first or second sip one of us will look at the other and say, “Ohmigod. That is sooo good.”

Here’s the thing: It’s just a cup of tea. It’s not like we’ve never had one before. But we’ve learned how to lose ourselves in the moment of it — not just the warmth and smoothness and flavor and mild buzz of it, but also the feeling of sitting in bed, warm and cozy, in each other’s company, without a care or trouble in the world. (Of course, there are cares and troubles in our world. We know that. But they can wait another ten minutes.) It’s a fantastically nourishing way to start the day.

Interesting thing about the word savor: it shares a common root with savvy and the sapiens of Homo sapiens. That’s no accident. Savoring = deep knowledge. By taking a moment to deeply taste something — the feel of the sun on your face, the sound and sense of a well-turned sentence, a sip of hot tea, the person next to you — you gain insight.

Into the thing you’re savoring, and perhaps into yourself, too.

To savor the moment is to know the moment.

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” — The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

My father was born and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. My (very American) mother used to say, “I married a Hamburger … with relish.” She never got tired of delivering that punch line. I never got tired of hearing it.

Don’t just stop for a moment to smell the roses. Get down on your hands and knees and smell the soil that grew them. There’s deep knowing in there.


  1. Linda Ryan

    What a beautiful post, John! I love discovering the meaning of words, which I thought I already knew … like savor. I thought it meant “to linger,” which it kind of does, but now it I KNOW it means even more. Thank you, sir!

  2. jdmann

    You are most welcome, Linda. Words are deep pools indeed!

  3. Lolly Daskal

    I savored this post. Thank you so much for sharing. Please share more.

    So enjoyed your words.


    • jdmann

      Nice to see you here, Lolly! Words — like delicious little pieces of fruit, aren’t they? Tasty, nourishing, and little seeds inside that contain secrets of the universe…

  4. Shari

    Very beautiful, the words and the look of the page. I am savoring it also. Thanks to Dixie Gillespie for sharing your post!


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