What defines something as the “most” or “best” anything?
I remember the first time I came to the US. It was five years ago, 2012, and my friend Amanda and I met in Boston for a weekend trip. She flew up from Miami, and I flew down from Toronto. I had only been in Canada for about 9 months, and the thrill of booking a cheap flight last minute to go to America…well that seemed like a pretty amazing thing to pull off!
The fact that the flight was only an hour and a half was irrelevant. After spending most of my life in Asia and Australia, the myth of AMERICA was tattooed into my brain. Look Ma! The US of A!
Amanda and I met at the airport, and gleefully made our way to the hostel. A great find, in the middle of iconic brownstone neighbourhood. Once we checked in, we decided to do the free historic walk through Boston (replete with guy in costume and accent I could barely understand – so much history!) and found our way to Quincy food market at Faneuil Hall.
I was shocked when we walked in. Right by the door was a sign “most delicious clam chowder in all of Boston!”
Well. I had to try it of course.
And you know what.
It WAS the most delicious clam chowder in Boston.
Because…it was the only clam chowder I had ever tried. It came in a bread bowl, it was scorching hot and creamy (and it was freezing outside), peppery, salty and with a touch of fresh ocean. It tasted like nothing I had ever had before. It was my first meal in Boston, which I paid for with the first American dollars I had ever held before, money that I had made myself and decided to spend on this tasty adventure. Amanda and I were giddy with excitement and the sun was shining.
No clam chowder has ever come close to that experience.
Trust me. I’ve searched.
And okay, I grew up and realized that America is fond of throwing around words like “Best something” or “Most something else”…
But I decided it was the most delicious clam chowder.
Today I got up early and went for a walk around my neighbourhood, listening to an audio book as I strolled along, when I came across a big tree.
I had passed probably a hundred trees on my walk already, but for whatever reason, whatever moment I found myself in, I looked up at this tree and I thought: “This is the most beautiful tree in LA”.
It was scarred and had sap seeping out of it, twisted trunk, and roots that had torn up the sidewalk beside it. The bark was rough and patchy, and it was throwing some kind of vaguely Australian looking nuts to the ground. But with the sun hitting it, and the smell it was giving off, I was suddenly so taken by this defiant nature (fuck you concrete…I grow my roots where I want) and obviously came home to write about it.
It isn’t just about “The most beautiful tree in LA” or the “Most delicious clam chowder in Boston” its about how we decide we feel about things.
This could be the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE – if you choose for it to be, if every moment brings you joy and you celebrate it intensely. That coffee you’re sipping could be the MOST DELICIOUS, or you could have the BEST commute to work.
I think its a mix of being delighted, naive and outwardly positive.
Or maybe all the weed being smoked in California is fucking with my brain.
Or the complete lack of gluten.