After the holidays, after the lights, the rooms warm with friends and family, after the gifts, after the tamales and pozole, the roast beef, ragu, and rugelach, the gingerbread and gingersnaps, after eating and eating and eating, I step out into the world. It’s mid afternoon. Damp cold. The sky mottled gray. I start slowly, moving awake after days glutted on food, books, and sleep. The muddy track along the lakeside is quiet. Under the car rumble, I can hear the waves lapping. They roll towards shore from two directions, crossing at a wide angle. Each facet of the water’s surface reflects a different sky. For a while, I stand watching the water, trying to catch the shifting pattern; it eludes me. I run on, under the gray sky, along the gray water, through the lowering dark. I cross a hillside of waterbirds probing the grass. The ducks lift off before me in waves. The geese keep eating, unperturbed.
I take the long stairs up from the lake two at a time. One flight after the next. I reach the top gasping, sweating, calves tingling, thighs trembling, face flushed, cold fingers fisted, feet fumbling for the last step. I am wholely alive. Every corner of my body is awake.
This is a gift I try to remember: legs and lungs that move me through the world, arms that lift and carry, hands as competent to mix dough as they are to hold a pen. I am glad to have work that demands mind and body both, glad too to live in a community whose support lets me turn that work into a livelihood. Thank you.
The bakery is growing steadily, straining the seams of the shoestring operation I’ve been running for the past four years. I have you to thank for that, as well. Because of that growth, I’ve been able to double my donations this year from one percent of sales to two percent. A small change, but a step in the right direction. And because of that growth, I’ll spend the winter planning how to build my bakery dreams into brick and mortar reality. I’ve passed enough hours staring out over the water, watching the light and writing stories in my head. It’s time to run.
Happy almost New Year.
Owner | Baker
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