After school Elliot goes to his neighbor Carmen's house and stays there until his parents get home from work. He asks for a snack before starting his homework and hopes she will offer him some candy. But Carmen has something more special in mind. She gives him an apple and tells him to eat it as if he had never tasted one before. Before doing that Elliot looks closely at the apple, touches it, listens to it, and smells it. Now all he has to do is taste it, and he has engaged all his senses with it.
Elliot is really into this project savoring the small bites and chewing the apple very slowly. Carmen is pleased to see his enthusiasm about their little spiritual exercise of slowing down, engaging the senses, and being more curious about eating. She tells him he can do the same thing with any food.
No Ordinary Apple by Sara Marlowe is perfect to read in tandem with Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lillian Cheung. There is a section of that book where the Vietnamese Zen master explains the process of being truly present when eating an apple. Both books offer an antidote to the mindlessness that keeps us from living fulling in the moment. This book is for children ages 4 and up.