If you're a regular of this blog, you know how much I admire Micha Boyett, the Mama: Monk. Today, I have the rare privilege of getting to share a bit of myself over at her space. Micha asked me to speak of glimpsing God in the ordinary. Keeping with the theme of this week, it seems, I found Him in the baking. Join me, today, at Mama: Monk? It has been nearly three months since I baked something, having no time for it while finishing my undergraduate thesis, graduating, and trying to discern what it even means to be a person. I can feel it in my hands, the aching need to be exercised in the old rhythms, so I make a point when the film has been shot for the day, when the cameras are packed up, to go by the market and fill a basket with six kinds of chocolate, a package of unsalted butter, hazelnuts, dried cherries. I sample, dream, pull too much for one batch of any one thing to hold, but I am determined to do this regularly—I feel required to return to the practice.
Hours later, in the evening, I wait for the chocolate and butter to melt on the stove, a wooden spoon as old as grace idly pulling across the bottom of the pan in slow strides. I’m anxious, which is why I’m baking in the first place. Baking is a kind of sacrament to me: a piece of myself, a temple of the Holy Ghost as O’Connor once said, at work to produce something to be given over, shared, and communed by. When I fret, which I am prone to do often, I put my faith in ginger from the spice shop downtown, which makes the pear muffins smell of November wind; I put my faith in sour cream, which keeps the chocolate loaf moist even when I leave it in a minute too long; I put my faith in cardamom pods, which took a whole Saturday to find, but make the cinnamon rolls taste of Arabia and secrets; and, eventually, all this faith in the process of the baking circles me back to faith in the Creator, the One who gave the ginger, the milk to sour, the cardamom.
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