the art of making bread and letting go
Not too long ago, I lived much different than I do now (you can find that story here). But in short, we lived really simple...like hauling water, chopping wood, heating with wood, simple. Like no electricity, canning all of our food, milking our own cows, simple. That kind of simple. Little House on the Prairie, simple. And most of the time, if I felt that we could make it from scratch in our kitchen, we would. That covered the basics like cheeses, ice cream, and butter. Spaghetti sauces, salsa, pickles and jam. Bagels, crackers, pizza crust and, of course, fresh bread. Lots of bread.
There is nothing more satisfying than eating fresh, hot, bread right out of the oven. Bread making day was, by far, my favorite (and my children's favorite, too). We would start out making a traditional wheat bread...you know, the kind that you had to knead and pull and punch. Then let rest. Then knead and pull again until the dough would rise. Each time your fingers and hands touched the bread it would bring great satisfaction, as we were part of creating something that nourished us. We would spend hours in the kitchen with our bubbly yeast concoction and floured hands. There seemed to be a great sense of purpose with what we were creating. An actual goal. One that if you followed the right steps in the right order, you'd have something amazing at the end...every single time.
And I am finding that I sometimes wish life went like this too.
That things were more predictable. That there was more to count on these days. That there was something at the end that you knew, if you put in the time and effort into, it would be guaranteed as well. That we know it will all work out in the end. We just have to follow the instructions.
But I am having a hard time finding any. And I know you are too.
I know that we could all use a few more guarantees these days. I know that we are all experiencing uncharted territory. We are all holding our breath just a few extra long seconds to see what will happen...to see how this will all turn out. We are all just a bit more unsteady, a little less grounded. A bit more scared.
I get it. I am right there with you, too. This is all new to every one of us. No one gets away with having gone through any of this before and there is no way around it. Despite everyone around you telling you what you should be doing or what you should not be doing...they don't know either. We all just have to do the best we can right now and lean harder on the ones in our even smaller circle these days.
And for this, I am grateful. To see who is staying in our circle. To see who is heading off in a different direction. To see who can handle the bumps and who finds it all too much for them. Too see who pulls away or remains quiet. To see who steps up and includes you in their life and to see who doesn't. It's these times, friends, that we get to see people with more clarity than ever. And we need to not turn our head away and ignore it this time.
And I wish I had a manual to tell you how this will all go. I really wish I did. But I am finding that there is something special, even beautiful, in the exhale. There is something special in letting go of what we don't know. In observing how it all unfolds, with or without your interventions. With or without your fear. There is something special about not having to pull and push and pull again. Not having to actively knead anything into what you want, but just allowing it to sit and do it's thing. Because it will. It will anyway...despite how hard you want to jump in and change it's course so that is more comfortable, more predictable, more safe for you.
That's not the way this one goes anyway. But you knew that already.
But despite that, we can love those around us more fiercely and let go of people and things that do not love us just as fiercely back. We deserve that and more, friends.
We can appreciate the beauty and set aside the ugly. Because we really don't need any more ugly. Not even for a moment.
We can tighten our circle and reach out to others that need one. Because, right now, connection is all we have. And it is all that even matters.
We can stop judging, professing, preaching, pretending and pushing. Because that never helped anyone anyway, and we don't need anymore assholes in our world. We just don't.
We need more kindness. More compassion. More love. We need more touch, connection and genuineness. More laughter, gratitude, presence and appreciation. More understanding.
We need more of you, friends... Whether you are solid or unsteady. Whether you are wise or curious. Whether you know it or not, we need you.
But you knew that already.
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