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taste and see || slowing down



Lately I've been thinking about now. Or rather, how we sometimes miss now.

The present is so real; so big, so expansive, so here. Why is it then, that we are so often somewhere else? How can we miss something so close to us?

I've started noticing this more and more in myself lately. I'll be on my morning run, but I'll be thinking about the paperwork I have to finish when I get back. Or I'll be out on a shopping trip with my mom and sister, or having a conversation with a friend, but thinking about my task list and the things I have to accomplish before the day is out.

The truth is, we are busier now than we ever have been. Our generation has more to occupy our thoughts than any other generation has. We are bombarded with things that demand our thought-space; work, school, projects, advertisements, trends, social media (especially social media), and so many other things that keep us trapped inside this cage of "get to the next thing", "finish this, start that", "be better", "I need something else", "I need to be somewhere else". We experience these pressures on a daily basis. And oftentimes it robs us of the joy of being right here...right now.

Right now I'm sitting at my dining room table, eating a super yummy breakfast of fruit with (homemade) almond butter. I'm writing this guest post for Hannah's beautiful and inspiring blog. I can hear birds outside. I can see patches of blue sky through the window to my left. I can hear the rustling of papers in the other room while my sister works at her desk. 

...Such a seemingly simply moment is so jam-packed FULL of flavor. And sounds. And color. And character. Each moment holds so much that we so often miss. I know I miss it. But the thing is, I don't want to miss it.

I want to be the kind of person who lives fully, and presently within every single moment of every single day. Each moment is a masterpiece that longs to be bit into and enjoyed.



Biting into things, in fact, leads me to something my online yoga teacher calls "the apple meditation", and it's easy. And you can do it with anything. (and we all love easy, flexible things that you can do whenever. So here goes.)

When eating an apple, hold it in your hand. How does it feel? What does it look like? What color is it? Take a bite. What does it taste like? Is it sweet, or tart? Crisp and crunchy? Chew slowly. How does each bite feel in your mouth? How does each bite taste?

This meditation could easily become "the pizza mediation" (<which sounds like an incredibly sacred experience, if I do say so myself.) or "the running mediation" or the "going for a drive" or "going for a walk" meditation. The point is to sloooow down and TASTE. 

When I was little, my mother used to teach me this by taking my sister and I on "listening walks": nature walks that we would take together in silence, often pausing to close our eyes and open up our senses to the explosion of sound that erupts around a person when they are still and quiet; the songs of birds, the wind sighing through the trees, the distant cries of hawks.



I think the Psalmist puts it brilliantly: taste and see that the Lord is good. (P. 34:8)

Taste. Savor.

Slow down and enjoy. Each moment is yours to grab hold of, hang on to, and LIVE to the fullest. Live it to the fullest by opening your eyes, and your ears, and your heart to all the little things that make life so absolutely gorgeous.

____

hey guys! Kate here. I blog over at The Goodness Revolt, and I'm honored for this opportunity to guest post here today on Hannah's awesome blog. She is an amazing gal, and I enjoy her thoughtful and wonderfully written posts so much. Thanks for taking the time to read, and thank you for having me here, Hannah!


x o

k a t e 

Book Review | Ain't We Got Fun

| goodreads |
It was never much of an issue for Bess: living contentedly on her family's farm, despite the Depression which loomed around them. But when her older sister Georgiana takes off to New York City to make a fortune and help Papa out, feelings of adventure and wanderlust strike Bess at home. Through their lively letter correspondence, the sisters recount to one another their adventures, surprises, and heartaches, leaving little room for depression. For in a world of such wonder, ain't we got fun?

When Ain't We Got Fun first premiered in January on the blogs of Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putzke, I was super excited! 
I have enjoyed reading the short stories and snippets they have posted, and the thought of a full book written by the both of them seemed like pure perfection. 

The story of Gi and Bess sounded exactly like my type of book. Historical Fiction is one my favorite genres, and I love the idea of stories told through letters.

I followed the story faithfully for the first couple days, but as I got busier, I shamefully couldn't keep up. So I determined that, once I had time, I would find the letters in the blog archives and read them all from beginning to end. 
But then, to my absolute joy, they published it all in an actual, physical book form!
***
This was one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. It made my heart very happy, and I was able to finish it after only a few short days of reading.
It was so easy to slip into the story, but much harder to get out.  

What I liked most about this book was that, because of the letter format, I was able to see the contrast of what life was like in the big city of New York as well as in the small farm community of Kansas during the Great Depression.
"This depression our country has fallen in is just that: depressing. Isn’t it interesting how the government appropriately names economic disasters?" Ain't We Got Fun
Another thing I appreciated was how very different Gi and Bess were. Both of them were great characters, and each of the sisters had a distinct voice. Their letters never sounded the same.

I felt like I could relate to Bess the most since she was a lot like me. But Gi was so adventurous and fun! I wanted to be her best friend.
And even though it was told in letters, I felt like I could connect with all of the other characters as well. Donny, Tom, and Will were all great!

I'm going to be honest, the ending totally snuck up on me. 
When I finished the last letter, I flipped on to the next page without even thinking, expecting there to be another letter, but instead I found the acknowledgments. 
I sat in shock for a little while.
It's over...? 

I wanted to know what happened next. I had grown so attached to Gi and Bess and I wanted to be able to read through their whole lives!
***
Overall, I think this was a very nice, short, summer-y read that I think every Historical Fiction fan would absolutely love!
I can't wait to see what Emily Ann Putzke and Emily Chapman write in the future.
"Every morning, every evening
Ain't we got fun?
Not much money, oh, but honey,
Ain't we got fun?
The rent's unpaid, dear,
And we haven't a bus.
But smiles were made, dear,
For people like us!" Ray Egan and Gus Kahn.