On, In, and Around Mondays: Edge of the New Year's Orchard
She wrote of challah dotted with raisins. In The Spirit of Food, Hathaway spoke of the moments making this heavenly braided bread for the Sabbath.
I thought about all the times I have tried to make bread—her idyllic description compared to my reality. There was no comparison.
This has been a year of admitting things like, "I can't make bread very well" and "I will probably never have a garden that results in actual vegetables." This year, I have left behind more than a few Wendell Berry/Laura Ingalls dreams.
So that, reading The Spirit of Food, I felt a sense of disconnection and slight sorrow. My realities are far from the visions of sweet homesteading and tomato vines overrun with fruit, of jams bubbling on the stove and land calling my name (as if I could do it justice with the turn of my unskilled shovel).
I came to the end of my assigned reading. Challah was baking, raisins plumping. And she, the successful baker, failed to keep her bees. Bees? It had been a new, hopeful endeavor that year, but the hives emptied, and the honey dreams disintegrated.
Wild bees came, in time, took up residence, redeemed the emptiness and her efforts. I think I was supposed to be comforted by this. But it was something else that caught my attention.
Little girl in the orchard, reaching.
Charlotte runs ahead, scampering through the bramble at the edge of the orchard to pick low-hanging fruit. When we catch up, Bea, her baby fingers grasping at everything, pulls at leaves, twigs, finally an apple.
This vision promised to turn my whole year around. Year past, and maybe year forward too.
I want to be the little girl who reaches for low-hanging fruit. I can make bread if I will let myself do it with a bread machine and a mix. I can grow rosemary and sage (but not thyme) in my garden, and gather tomatoes from the farmer's market. The whole orchard may never be mine, but an apple is waiting. Now I must simply reach. At the edge of the orchard. Reach.
Photos by L.L. Barkat.
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.
If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
We're reading The Spirit of Food together at TheHighCalling.org. Join us?