Monday, October 18, 2010

11 Rising

Monday September 20, 2010 - isle of Erraid

We are still in Baking fire and today I am making bread for the community. I am so excited! The symbol of bread-making is sacred. It is a loving thing to do, to make and share bread with another.

To be successful, a warm cozy kitchen and a hot oven are needed, along with a loving heart. Well I’ve got all those today.

My kitchen companion hands me the hugest bowl of dough I’ve ever felt. I flour up the table and plunge my hands in.

I love to feel the dough in my hands. I pull it and kneed it and it unfolds itself pliantly. I bang it down, drive it into long flat pieces with the heal of my hands, and it submits, curling around my fist as I push and pull it.

My mind wanders, drifting gently from topic to topic. I focus on what my hands are doing and feel all thoughts drift away into only the essentialness of making my hands do what they are doing. I sigh happily, knowing that all I have to do is make the bread.

I make fifteen loafs, the last, I mould and shape, reluctant to release it to the oven.

I'm a bit attached to this one," I say to my cooking companion, who laughs in understanding. I'm relieved not to be thought batty, for what the outside world might see as a piece of anthropomorphic whimsy, (if you can be anthropomorphic about a piece of dough!). The thing is, the bread does feel alive, growing under my hands and then expanding some more before it is put in the oven to bake.

There is something deeply grounding about the ritual of bread making. I feel warm and satisfied and happy as the first loaves emerge from the oven, their sweet-savory smell filling the kitchen. Later, we eat the bread. It is soft and moist in my mouth. I sigh happily for the pleasure of it and because, all around my, others are showering me with appreciation for the beautiful bread they are eating.

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