Sometimes Food Just Doesn’t Matter

On the Rhine


In the grand scheme of things, all that happened is that a friend and I had a meal of fruit, cheese, and crackers by a river on an overcast Tuesday afternoon. Painted by these words, the moment seems a bit mundane, even hackneyed.

Let’s take a moment to dress it up a bit. The river was the Rhine, and the location was found in a stretch of road certified by UNESCO as being a World Heritage site. The scenery was beautiful with castles overlooking the river from high atop of hills that seemingly run straight down into the river’s valley. Barges laden with products from north and south lazily found their way around the many twists and turns. Senior Citizens traveled with purpose either upon bicycles or within RV’s. Green was everywhere. The hills were peppered with grape vines and deciduous trees just on the verge of changing their colors for the annual autumn explosion. No one seemed in a hurry, including Andrea and myself, who, on a whim, ventured into a small grocery store to pick up a lunch.

Here’s where I had an epiphany. The food purchased was nothing more than a bit of apple, some cheap crackers, and some cheese that can best be described as “workman-like”. It was good, but not great.

It didn’t matter one bit. I was sitting on the shores of the Rhine, watching the world go by, and sharing the moment with a  friend. It was as perfect of a moment as one can get on this planet, and the size of the grins on our faces was all the evidence I needed to prove this fact.

We who are passionate about food sometimes forget that there is more to life than what we are eating. There are times when what’s on one’s plate does not matter one iota. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, and if everything else is near perfect, the quality of the food does not need to be considered. Sometimes, in the quest to get the best out of life, we forget that some moments do not need micro managed. Fussing over food in moments like these are a horrible waste of energy.

Simply put, sometimes the best way to enjoy a moment is to let it be exactly the way it appears.

(Originally published on Accidental Hedonist on October 7th, 2009)

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