Using the senses to appreciate

By  Stephanie Buosi, Youth Speak News
  • October 3, 2008
{mosimage}Recently in one of my classes, I was forced to use my rusty senses to study and observe the common strawberry. Sounds pretty simple right? However, the catch was that I could not use my “taste” senses until last — pretty hard to do when I was participating on an empty stomach.

I must admit I never truly appreciated a strawberry until that moment. By taking the time to observe my “subject,” as we were required to write about it afterwards, I was able to feel the bumpy texture and the fragility of the strawberry’s “skin.” I was able to imagine the delectable flavour by its smell — something a hundred times better than any strawberry flavoured lip-gloss or perfume.
I actually took the time to enjoy it. My only regret was that I kept craving more and that we were only allowed to have two.

As a consuming society, we take life’s little pleasures for granted and never really notice the subtle joys. The consumption of strawberries is the perfect example of how our society reacts to items that were once cherished.

To those who live in developed countries, the strawberry is as common as any other produce found in the supermarket. It is not considered a delicacy as it was years ago, when humanity had to scour the ravines in search of  them.

Like the strawberry, so many things are now easy to obtain and we are prone to simply gobble them down with no appreciation whatsoever for texture, beauty and subtle flavours.

Many of us believe that to truly appreciate the world, we must travel to exotic places to explore the many known landmarks. This is only partially true. After I completed this assignment I would walk a little slower on my way home from school to take notice of my surroundings. I found these small and seemingly insignificant sights made me smile a little more. I have noticed how beautiful the sky can be at any given time. I have spent a few minutes each day watching the dark clouds of a rainy day or the bright colours of a sunset. To others I must have looked incredibly foolish, walking with my face to the sky. However, I felt as though it didn’t matter because I would feel a little more connected with God when I did this.

Many of us are worried about living our lives to the fullest and having no regrets when we finally leave this life for the next. We spend our time always on the go and believe that the more we accomplish, the less we will regret. However, in order to fully appreciate all areas of life, we must stop to “smell the strawberries.”

By taking time to notice things that can be easily overlooked, we gain a new perspective on life, which can in turn teach valuable life lessons.

Many times when I pause to observe something that seems insignificant, I am struck by how complex God’s creations are. I’ve come to realize this truly is a beautiful world created for us. Therefore, as long as I take the time to savour and enjoy my surroundings, I shall never hold any regrets.

(Buosi, 17, is a student at St. Augustine Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.)

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