Three loaves of bread from the past few days:
On Friday we were babysitters, or borrowed parents, for the daughter of our friends who live opposite. I liked the thought that my baby had a borrowed baby sister for the night even though they both slept most of the evening and didn’t actually see each other. The next day we came home to find a card and a freshly baked loaf of bread, tall and toastable, outside our front door. The perfect thank you.
On Sunday I baked a walnut and honey loaf, warm and earthy, and wrapped in wax paper to take to a gathering at a house in the mountains, cool, green and quiet.
You owe me some stories said our host, his eyes shining, reminding us of the last time we had met when he had been the storyteller.
We spent the afternoon under his trees (one of them walnut) talking, laughing, eating, and sharing how our lives, our faiths, had led us, from as far back as our great-grandparents, to this very moment.
On Monday I baked again for a dinner at our house that had already been postponed three times over the last month due to a combination of work commitments, sickness, teething and our fridge crisis. The friends we invited are regular guests who usually bring bread and wine. It has become a tradition which I was slightly scared of breaking by making the bread myself- would we have to cancel again?! But in the end the loaf, white, round and rustic, was a lucky charm and the dinner went ahead despite a baby that wouldn’t fall sleep until the very last minute and our fridge which died and came back to life- again!
I wonder if life wouldn’t be simpler if we could use bread to barter- to offer up in exchange for luck, for stories, for kindness.