The mans face was set in deep concentration as he turned the millstone and listened to the grinding of the wheat between its jaws.
He thought of how only the other day he admired the grown wheat waving like a sea of gold in the breeze,. He remembered how he had planted it months before, scattering each seed onto the damp earth. As he did, he imagined the life of a seed, its succumbing to the earth to be broken down, released of its protective husk. How it would have plunged its remaining energy into the deep soil in the form of a single root, drawing on the nourishment to create a second shoot that would with the strength of an arrow work its way towards the sunlight.
It took his breath away.
Such life and courage, such patience and strength.
But today the field was motionless, only stubble remained. The wheat had been cut, thrashed and threshed to separate it from its useless chaff, and now, here, it was being crushed beyond recognition. Yet from it poured the finest flour, flour that could be made into bread, cakes, puddings, biscuits, all kinds of delightful nourishing meals.
He scooped up the flour, put it into the bowl and began to mix in the yeast, the salt and the water. All his strength and love went into transforming the mix, kneading and pummelling, feeling it transform under his fingers into shiny dough. Letting it rest, and watching it grow in the warmth of the kitchen, reforming, reshaping then into the oven to turn a golden brown.
He placed it on the table and saw the summer sun, the nourishment of earth, the death and darkness of the seed, the constant changing and transforming all bound into this small loaf.
As he took it into his hands and broke it he remembered how in a dark time he too felt like the seed in the ground with life stripping him of all he believed himself to be. He remembered how he had to dig deeply in search of a new way of nourishing his being.
He broke it again and remembered the yearning for sunlight, for times when the darkness seemed too much to bear. He remembered too the courage found to imagine a new.
He broke it, and felt the freedom of renewal, basking in the wonder of being, nearly touching the sun.
He broke it and felt the ground come up to meet him as life took an unexpected turn and he was changed again..
This time beyond recognition, removing all he thought himself to be, until all that was left was gift for the baker to knead and cook and be shared.He broke it once more and he knew now that he was the bread of life. Living, changing, dying and renewing life and in that same moment he remembered; he was the Baker.
Bev Robertson 2008