This I Believe

Emily - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude

Indulge in the Greek Restaurant Moments of Life

With the last day of vacation looming on the horizon, walking down the sun-drenched pier, tasting the saltiness of the ocean wind, and passing the rows upon rows of seashell-filled gift shops seemed bittersweet. It was just my mom and me meandering through the myriad boutiques and silently enjoying the afternoon together. After an hour or so, we stumbled upon a Greek restaurant, largish compared to its petite neighbors, with walls tiled in such a deep cerulean that it appeared as though the Mediterranean itself had washed upon them.

An unfamiliar yet delicious scent greeted us at the door, making our mouths water, and when our food arrived ten minutes later, we eagerly dug in. The two of us had ordered the same thing, a gyro advertised on the menu as “the best in town.” It was justly named. The heat of the day was promptly forgotten as the cool, creamy sauce spread across my tongue; mixed with the exotically spiced lamb, it permeated my senses. Mom and I smiled across the table at each other, sharing the moment, contentedly enjoying each others’ company. Something like the knowledge that we were both experiencing the same bursts of flavor, the same relaxing atmosphere, the same joy left me with a sense of unity, a quiet and unexplainable bond that still fills me with comfort to remember it. Our plates empty and our stomachs comfortably filled, and as if she had read my mind, my mom broke the silence. “This is one of those moments that you can look back on later when you’re having a bad day; one of those moments that will cheer you up just to think about it.”

It is this experience that my mom and I fondly titled the Greek Restaurant Moment, and its principle is a simple one. In life, it is often the small occurrences that make the most lasting impressions, but whether it’s large or small, there is at least one for everyone. These are the instances that saturate you with contentedness, with excitement, with sheer bliss. When I’m feeling stressed, worrying about some future prospect on the horizon, I bring to mind the Greek Restaurant Moment and am temporarily transported back to that feeling of intense happiness, to that sense of communal joy and comfort Mom and I had shared in that afternoon together. Remembering this experience for even a few fleeting instants is enough to lighten my mood and lift my spirits.

So when you’re feeling rushed, despondent, or in some way down in the dumps, indulge in your own Greek Restaurant Moment. This I believe.