Rare are those days when we’re able to indulge ourselves to the exclusion of all else, and really drop into what we love, without distraction. In the busyness, we hand ourselves over to that we feel must be done, rather than to that we’d wish to be doing. Rare, indeed, it seems, is such a window of opportunity; perhaps more so that it comes without the need to justify it to both ourself and others.
Fingers of early morning summer light reach across the kitchen; dawn’s soft radiance, life as it’s meant to lit, I like to think, a gentle relief that yields a perspective that’ll see me nicely through the day. And if I hadn’t heaved against the inertia incumbent in such an early hour, if I’d continued to slumber, not only would I have missed this, but the day might’ve been lost to the needs of others.
Beyond the low hum of a preheating oven, the house is quiet. It will wake in a while to aromas of early morning endeavour percolating up, up, and away out of the kitchen. Aromas that symbolize security and love; home.
A pan pizza dough, refrigerated overnight, stretches easily over an oiled baking sheet. After a brief resting and topping with sauce, it’ll be parbaked, then finished off in style for dinner. A wholemeal preferment made at the same time as the pizza dough, and now imbued with qualities that only Time can bestow, looks ripe for making the final dough; a batch rolls and loaves that’ll see us through lunch and, via the freezer, into the week ahead.
Preparing food for others is one of life’s privileges. I’ve fallen away from it many times yet always seem to find my way back. With deep gratitude, I hand myself over to this simple ritual. For a moment I sense my place in the great scheme of things, somewhere between the farmer, the miller and those I’m feeding. Between the soil and the soul. I feel the pull of the earth. In the quiet of that moment I’m reoriented amongst the madness.
Providing sustenance and restoration by our own hand and coming together at the common table, reconnecting with each other however briefly in this otherwise disparate world, provides much-needed nourishment not only for the physical but on a deeper, less-easily articulated level too.
I think, perhaps, it nourishes the soul.