Thursday, August 18, 2011

The beauty of bread labor

A friend and I went to our State Fair yesterday and had a wonderful, dusty, hot afternoon visiting cows and lambs, pigs and horses. We saw the old farm equipment and stopped to talk to a blacksmith. We ran into a few friends and laughed and chatted like people who have nothing better to do on a Wednesday afternoon. On the way home, we talked about honest work. Simple, meaningful tasks you do with your hands to create a life. So much of what we do now is head work, intellectual figuring, technology wrangling, web wrestling. It's not tangible labor that makes us sweat and gives us something solid to see for our efforts. This summer I've been spending a lot of time doing things that have more connection to "reality"--baking bread, making my own yogurt, learning how to can jams and vegetables. It feels so good! There is something immediate and contactful about it. And I feel that *all of me* is involved in the effort--not just my head, and not just my skills. It feels like a whole experience.
I just ran across this page where Ghandi is talking about the sacredness of "bread labor," and after this wonderfull--and wonder-full--summer, I think I know what he means.