Yesterday, I spoke to a good friend who suggested lunch and, again, Hokkaido Ramen came up as a choice. Our original plan was to arrive at 11:30. I'm glad I suggested we meet at opening, simply because I arrived early (as is my habit, OCD and all) and there were already 6 people in line 20 minutes before the doors swung wide. This should serve as notice to those reading this blog: People apparently love love love Hokkaido Ramen.
At opening, we were escorted into a tiny restaurant space, handed tidy menus and given water. The service was tight and quick. The restaurant clean and well lit. This is all good news for a high maintenance person such as myself. We quickly ordered the staple of their menu (Shio Tonkatsu ramen) and waited eagerly for the delivery of said yummy goodness.
(As an aside, if one goes to an Italian restaurant, one should order spaghetti or fettucine, simply because if the restaurant cannot make a "staple" of the cuisine, one shouldn't patronize the establishment. The same goes for a ramen shop. If one cannot get a great Shio or Shoyu ramen, one should probably find a different restaurant. At least this is how this "one" thinks.)
As I dug into the bowl of thick soup and noodles, it occurred to me that life is a lot like a bowl of ramen: So much is hidden in the soup.
It's cloudy, and it has many hidden surprises. It's full of things that make you feel good, but it's also full of things that can make your stomach ache. You may even bite into an unintended mistake, simply because the rest of the soup is so good, you don't notice the cherry seed that accidentally fell into the mix. (I have no idea how that can even happen, but indeed it did... don't tell anyone!) It can give you heartburn, and it can raise your blood sugar level. Even scarier, it can raise your blood pressure. It can burn your tongue. Should I keep going?
I know everything we do in life can probably be over analyzed (or simplified) this way and compared to something else just as quaint, but maybe, just maybe, there is a basic wisdom in it. What if there are no surprises in life, meaning everything is exactly as it's supposed to be? What if there is no hidden agenda? What if everything is perfect? Everything.
We are all called to integrate with each other. We are all called to love on each other and to support one another. We aren't going to be lying on our deathbed, wishing we spent more time with our cars or our homes, but we are going to wish we spent more time with our loved ones.
Jump into this bowl of soup called life and grab onto a fishcake. It'll be the part that keeps you afloat.