The Christmas Bread.
I remember once when I was a little girl. It was Christmas, and my mother was busy baking bread in the kitchen. Desperate to keep me from underfoot, she broke off a piece of the dough, smiled and said, “Now go make something nice.”
I’d watched her bend and knead the mixture, adding dried berries and candied nuts with each quarter turn. Then into the oven to carry a nutmeg infused joy throughout the house.
I wanted my bread to be ‘perfect’, just like hers. Though, in those days at just barely 4-years-old I thought perfection meant MORE. So, I squirreled away spending the next half hour furiously patting and rolling – until I emerged with a lint-encrusted ball now the color of smoked ash (the fireplace bricks being the only logical choice for a flat rolling surface).
I watched her eyes intently as I handed the culinary ‘masterpiece’ back for baking. She never missed a beat, only smiling. “Now THIS will be delicious,” she said.
It didn’t improve with cooking, I assure you, my loves. The overworking caused the bread to fall, and the flecks of fireplace certainly didn’t help. Though, the process did prove to be an earlier lesson in temperance and balance.
‘More’, isn’t always ‘better’ – particularly, in matters of heart. And only the hand that lessens its grip can know the fullness of all things.