Each Monday for the remainder of summer I will post a quick write straight from my journal. I've been craving the simple pleasure of creative writing in my everyday, so my lunch breaks have become a time for tupperware lunches, iced lattes, and a pen. I write the first thing that comes to me and enjoy every swoop of my illegible cursive. With minimal editing I will be posting my favorite quick write of the week right here for your viewing pleasure. I'm informally calling this the Lunch Break Series. Happy first day of Summer and please enjoy the Lunch Break Series:
Baking bread seems like such a simple act. We go to the store and get ground wheat in a flour bag, tiny bags of yeast that rise instantly in warm milk from plastic jugs, eggs in a cardboard tray that protects their soft bodies, and drive home in our seatbelts while small animals dodge our 20-inch tires.
And maybe we miss out on all the parts that get us back to earth. The creak of the gate before sunrise and the chickens nuzzling a familiar hand as you pet their feathered heads before gathering eggs. Milk in a metal pail and a grinding stone going over and over and over the kernels of wheat.
I’m probably romanticizing this process, I’ve read too many books about farms and talking spiders I suppose.
Either way it's all the same elements once the brightly colored packaging is in the waste basket.
Eggs, milk, butter, salt, yeast.
On the hard surface of your counter your hands press the ball of dough you mixed, this part is always the same. Pressing, your fingers melt into the cool, smooth surface the way a body submerges in a swimming hole in the dead of summer. The relief surprises you.
You keep pushing, molding, feeling the ball as it begins to look like dough.
You are patient, folding laundry as you trust the yeast to perform magic beneath the saran wrap. And when you return it has, pouring over its rim in a plump mound of dough and it makes you feel the tiniest bit proud.
But nothing is quite like the opening of the oven, the swelling of the smell of France into the house. How everyone seems to stream from their rooms with butter already out from the fridge and be sitting on the counter, laughing, and eating within moments.
This is why you do it, the pressing and rising and heat. It has never been about your connection to the earth. It’s about them. About the way her nose crinkles before she giggles and about his hand on the small of your back. The way you’re all together like this for just a few breaths a day. You can’t smell the French bakery the way they can because you are intoxicated with the beauty of their little hands and big eyes, with his strong jaw full of gentle words, and the way you’ve found your way home.