Bread, Beauty, and HealingAugust 02, 2016
Yesterday was a tough day.
The days prior were not too lovely either.
But this morning, after my morning meditation sit,
I took one look at the beautiful sourdough
I baked last night, and all was well.
This is the sourdough I have made for
family and friends for almost 25 years.
A beautiful soul in St. Louis shared
the family recipe, and what a gift it is.
It doesn't come together quickly.
There is a lot of waiting.
It begins with a starter stored in the frig
and fed weekly to stay alive.
Lately I have been baking it in an old brioche pan
which makes me look more like an artisan.
Everybody here loves cinnamon bread
so I usually
make a loaf of that too.
I have had a love affair with dough my entire life.
During my childhood, my parents were busy in their career
as ministers and activists with The Salvation Army,
and the family from Sweden in our neighborhood who
took us kids under their wing worked in the bakery downtown
(where I was allowed in the back where the magic happens!).
I remember at 4, waking up one morning and realizing
I had forgotten to put my rising yeast dough
in the frig, and as I rushed down the stairs,
I had this frightening vision of discovering
the dough had risen all night and
filled the entire volume of the kitchen.
This morning when I saw the bread, I saw beauty.
And because my spiritual container is Christianity,
I saw the bread of life, the body of Christ.
While it may have been just another Tuesday morning
for you, for me it was kitchen church where a
small miracle happened in my soul.
I sliced the loaf, and it smelled so delicious
I thought I would cut a heart shape
using a cookie cutter, but I didn't
spot that cutter when I opened the drawer of
baking supplies...I saw a MERCI stamp
purchased in Paris a few years back.
As I stamped the slice, I sort of felt my
heart stamped with MERCI at the same time.
I took a bite and then came undone.
These pics with the Merci
were snapped quickly on my iPhone
in that moment.
I hope gratitude comes easy for you.
I hope your heart is etched boldly with
m e r c i.
But please know some of us must
fight extra hard to recover it.
It's not that we don't want to live in it everyday.
We do. We know it's everything.
But sometimes a variety of hurts and human frailty
may come together, creating a barrier so that
we cannot gain access.
Sometimes depression is the barrier.
It is often life's twists and turns,
anxiety, or unwellness of the mind and body
that may block the way.
As soon as I tasted the bread,
gratitude came in a flow with tears.
I remembered so many highs and lows over
the quarter century this special family bread
has graced our lives...how the bread has become
a symbol of love and connection.
My whole being felt awash in light and mercy.
I glanced down at the kitchen floor and saw the
little feather above (which may be goose down
from a pillow...I don't know), and I thought about
all of the things which give their life or feathers
or labor or freedom or tears
for our comfort, for our joy...and this
thought sent me spiraling into more
thankfulness and reverence for
the Divine DNA and Deep Mystery
inherent in every living thing.
I am rich beyond measure with love,
and the reality of my wealth emerged
in one solitary bite of sacred sourdough.
Physically and emotionally, I have seen
easier times, where my heart was full
But today's daily bread came in my brokenness.
Today's bread is re-teaching me how it is
possible to transcend, to awaken, and to surrender
to a trustworthy love that longs to make me whole.
After the spiritual breakfast of goodness,
I began working on some re-organizing projects
long overdue, and the work felt sacred.
This afternoon, the flow continued as our
family received just the most beautiful news.
And see, I don't want to keep others from this flow
because I love you...so in every word of this
stream of consciousness post,
and even in the white space in between,
I am sending you peace.
Right where you are.