It rained hard and quite steadily for the past two days. I am working against a tight deadline for my ECF project and my girl is having a hard enough time with pain that we may need to bump up her surgery. Tomorrow I will be preaching and celebrating at St Paul’s, Lowndesboro to help my buddy Joe; it’s a tough Gospel reading about weeds and tares–a guest preacher treads carefully through passages like that. And weekends continue to be hard.
Because of the rain, I could not do much outdoors and on both days, I was starting to go a bit crazy so I pulled out the instructions. Literally. I have something coming up that I need to prepare a special dish for that uses brioche bread. Then too, peach season is at its height; I have peaches the size of a man’s fist sitting on my counter in the kitchen.
My dad was relentless with about the importance of “reading the instructions”. I did not know when he insisted over, and over, and over again that we read the instructions that he was offering us a way to navigate through fear, anxiety or hesitation to try all sorts of things. “I can do that.” Some of the best moments of my life have been when I have read instructions and thought, “Yup. I can. I can do that.”
Bread baking and canning are not heroic or that inspired or audacious. But reading and following the instructions carefully to make a loaf of Brioche and to prepare and can Peach-Lemon Thyme Jam gave me some freedom from grief and loneliness. Especially the canning was beautiful along the way too.