This morning I broke my fast with some incredibly delicious sourdough toast, lusciously topped with butter and honey. As I savoured each bite, I thought about how, months ago, I crafted the sourdough starter, diligently caring for it almost as it if were a member of the family. Feeding it, ensuring it was comfortable, safe, warm, fermenting… (ok, I don’t ferment my family, despite what the huge row of jars on the counter might suggest, but you get the idea). And if you’ve ever made sourdough, you know it’s a bit of a process. Basically, it’s the exact opposite of a “quick bread”, and SO worth it! So I allowed myself to bask in the delight of a job well-done. This bread, y’all… it’s delicious!
I worked hard, not just to make this bread, but to learn how to bake in general. I researched how to make a starter, how to manage the weird process, and I had a lot of interesting results along the way (not all of them even remotely edible!).
Still, this breakfast would not have been possible without the hard work of countless other people, and the same is true of every single thing we do in life. We may be the ones putting in this narrow (if intense) window of effort, knowledge and time, but we’re building on the knowledge of others, and the back-breaking effort of generations that make it possible for us to even have a prayer of accomplishing the things we do. That doesn’t in any way negate the hard work we put in, the hours we spend learning and honing our knowledge and our skills, or the sacrifices we make. it just puts the whole process into perspective and injects a healthy dose of humility, too. And honestly? I appreciate the sense of connectivity that comes with seeing the bigger picture.
I didn’t invent sourdough. I certainly didn’t build my stove, or the glass bowl my dough was mixed in. I didn’t grow, harvest OR grind the wheat, make the butter or the honey on top (although I have, and in theory can do many of those things!). I deeply appreciate the hard work and intellectual curiosity and tenacity that has created this space where I… where we can learn, grow, experiment, fail, succeed, and enjoy the delicious fruits of our labours.
Now, who’s got the strawberry-rhubarb jam?