I Baked Bread Today

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I baked bread today.
Yes, I did.
Got up early,
washed my face
yawned
drank strong coffee
rolled up my sleeves,
and began to measure and mix and knead.

^

^

Not using
a bread machine
mixer or
Kitchenaid–
no complaints here, please understand!

Why?
I mean, why would you do that?
Aren’t you currently located in a country
noted for its extraordinary bread?
All kinds of bread?
From pretzel to rye
baguette to brioche
ciabatta to focaccia
pita to challach
from
simit to ekmek?

True.
The bread is outstanding!
Available everywhere.
Relatively inexpensive.
So why?

I’m not sure, exactly.
Somehow it goes beyond taste and nutrition.

When I bake
I get in touch with
long forgotten memories:
like my mother’s hands and arms
moving rhythmically
with precisely the same twists and motions
each time,
subduing the unruly mass
into something resembling art.
Beauty.

I see it
smell it
feel it
in my own hands
arms
movements.

So, I suppose it’s a journey into
the cycles of history
tradition
nurture
wave
after wave.

Baking bread is more than
having something to look forward to
along with coffee at breakfast
in the morning.
Ahhh, and I do!

When I venture into this
time-consuming process
I’m unwittingly drawn into contemplation,
thinking about connections
past, present, future.
Great-grandparents, grandparents, parents–all passed–
children, grandchildren–present–
yet not,
being geographically distant.
I think about observing
listening
absorbing
reflecting.
How life’s vibrancy is passed on,
how that happens
in spite of distance
change
activity
differences.

Humble bread
transforming into
a spiritual exercise.

How did I learn this art?
I had no formal instruction
took no class
didn’t watch an episode
on The Food Network
that nudged me on.
Yet, every ingredient
each step–
the dance between exertion
and rest–
caught!
Mentally captured as
by an internal motion picture.

My thoughts wander
through meadows rich
with people
experiences
laughter
tears.
Whom will I
intentionally bless
with attention
devotion
love
gifts?

Baking bread suddenly takes a philosophical turn.
Who would have thought?

I’m feeling a need to taste
sample
indulge
enjoy!
Not tomorrow–today.
Bread with coffee–an afternoon snack?
Absolutely!

The smell of bread on my plate
fills me with an urge
to share.
Sending a picture
has become natural.
So here is that…

image

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^

^^

^

^

^

But I mean
a tangible gift
shared with
someone else.

I wouldn’t necessarily feel that
with the loaf of
bread I buy
and bring home
to go with a hot soup
on a chilly spring evening.

But bread I’ve baked?
It’s different, somehow!
It’s part of me
reflecting effort
thought
care
time
and love!

This simple mixture
of water, yeast, flour
becoming an act
of blessing
expressing gratitude
connection
joy!

Okay!

Tonight: I’ll share!
Tomorrow: “Ein Olivenbrot, bitte!”

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2 thoughts on “I Baked Bread Today

  1. There’s something about doing things with thought, time, care and love that modern conveniences like mixers and such simply cannot duplicate. It even smells different, tastes different than when it’s done quick and easy! I think there’s a wise lesson somewhere in your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely, Brad! You caught the value of mindfulness made possible through simplicity. It’s a connection that’s easily lost when focused primarily on efficiency and production. Thanks for taking the time to read and sense the layers.

      Like

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