Jewish World Review August 27, 2004 / 10 Elul, 5764
Savor life's fleeting moments
Allwords.com says the word savor means "to relish."
I am thinking of the word savor while riding in the backseat of my Dad's
new silver Taurus. The car has leather seats, a built-in compass,
miles-per-gallon digital display and a moon roof. There is another amenity
in the vehicle; my 18-year-old daughter sitting in the passenger seat
messing with the CD changer in a compartment between her and my dad Seated
behind them, looking at the juxtaposition of age and generations, I know
that this is a moment to savor; to relish.
"Ever open the moon roof, Grandpa?"
"Only had it opened once, we haven't had the car all that long," he answers.
"Mind if I open it?"
He tells her to go ahead, and explains the three options: shade back, but
window closed; shade and window open at a tilt; or shade and window both
She hits the button that opens the shade and window. Fresh air rushes in,
encircling our hair and faces. It's late afternoon, encroaching on
twilight. The air is unseasonably cool, 15 degrees out of character for the
peak of summer in the landlocked Midwest. We are rolling along a two-lane
road toward my brother's place in the country.
"Do you like Liberace?" my father asks.
"Never heard Liberace," she says.
My father turns on the CD player and Liberace turns on the ivories. I try
to explain Liberace but give up somewhere after sequined evening jackets
and before gilded candelabras. It doesn't matter. She's car dancing to
track No. 2, "As Long As I Have You."
The terrain around us is pancake flat. In these wide-open spaces you can
see from house to house, farm to farm, from produce stand to distant silo.
Redwing blackbirds dot the fence posts and an occasional goldfinch provides
a brilliant flash of yellow.
The Super Thesaurus says savor means to enjoy, to "smack one's lips over,"
to appreciate. Savoring requires self-discipline and objectivity, two
commodities I often find in short supply. Problem is, the moments worthy of
savoring don't come with bells, flags or warning buzzers. You have to be
waiting and watching, willing to sweep everything else aside, at least for
"Tell you why I have this CD," Dad says. "'The September Song.' You like
"'he September Song?'"
"Never heard it," she says, playing an imaginary piano accompanying
Liberace on the "Twelfth Street Rag."
"Punch on through," he says. "September Song is toward the end."
Well, it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days
grow short when you reach September . . . And the days dwindle down to a
precious few . . . September, November . . . And these few precious days I
spend with you. These precious days I spend with you.
We turn onto a gravel road, recent recipient of a chip and seal. Chip and
seal is good news when you live in the country, where dust weasels through
the cracks of your doors and windows. It is also good news when you drive
with the moon roof open.
The smell of corn wafts into the car. The sun is sinking in a flaming ball
of orange and horses are silhouetted against the sky.
Once again, summer has barreled through like a locomotive on an express
line. In addition to puffs of smoke and a lonesome whistle, it left behind
a few pleasant remembrances, fleeting moments here and there to savor,
relish and enjoy.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
© 2004, Lori Borgman
JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.