April 2, 2012

To Be Satisfied


I know. It’s just a loaf of bread. Not perfectly shaped. Not labored over for hours. But, when I took it out of the oven, my heart swelled a little.

I’m not always grateful for everything I have. I should be because I have so much and I am so blessed in this life. Still, I struggle to appreciate what I have while I am overwhelmed by what I am trying to do and where I want to be in life. It seems thankless to do less than appreciate each day for the small moments of beauty, the incredible opportunities, and the love that I get to share. I don’t mean to take things for granted, I am just haunted by the feeling that I could or should be doing more.

More creative, more productive, more generous and helpful to others. I’m not good at just being and just accepting. So I pause and appreciate something small that I made for myself. I’ll eat a slice while warm, slathered with butter. The butter is always cold from the fridge, I tame it into melty submission with a knife. I have some cheese and tomato jam, I’ll grill a sandwich later or eat it with tomato soup tomorrow.

I know I’ve written about a loaf of bread several times here before. It seems to be a symbol for me. Making food from scratch, finding a slight sense of accomplishment by tending to simple kitchen staples. I am always wondering about what it means to be productive in life and how to find balance between being and doing. So I think about this loaf of bread, the simplest and probably most tangible outcome of one day.

To muse on a loaf of bread hints at how much I over think things. If I thought less about why and how and what for, and spend more time doing, I would probably be much closer to my dreams and goals. But my mind rolls these questions around and around. This loaf of bread is simply an incident. A weekly, or occasional routine in the kitchen. Truly, it is not a big accomplishment, but when I pulled it out of the oven it felt like a small victory. A straightforward product of some work. Work that has meaning, that I appreciate.

I wish to be satisfied by just this.

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