Of fire, loss, and poppyseed coated boule.

I promise, I will soon be posting more than just bread. But… it’s winter. It’s cold outside, and man, I’ve had a stressful week. Baking for me is a retreat to normalcy, easily achieved outcomes of beauty and deliciousness, and a task I can complete.

As I watch some of my dearest friends walk through the loss of their four generation home to a horrific fire, I find it hard to cope with the reality of loss. The tangible memories of their mother who passed away three years ago, who was also a dear friend and mentor to me, compounded with the loss of the physical dwelling place just seems unfair, like too much for one family to have to handle. I’ve spent hours combing through the burnt rubble to try and find anything to salvage, more hours cleaning what I did save and washing clothes to try and remove the smell of smoke. These things…we all hold things so dear don’t we? But in a flash they are gone. It’s made me reassess this week for sure, where am I putting my hope? Where am I putting value?

I am thankful that as a Christian, I know that my hope lies beyond the ash heap, in the incorruptible beauty of heaven. The rest will be lost to time, lost to destruction, or just subtly ignored until it becomes garbage. The new bow I ordered? Someday it will be nothing. My camera? A few more years will render it obsolete in the wake of newer and better technology. Even my treasures like the book that holds my son Samuel’s footprints and handprints, the only thing I have that he ever touched (he was stillborn in 2017), will someday degrade or be thrown away.

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 tells me that as a Christian, I shouldn’t sorrow as those who do not have the same hope I do. I’ve found this to be a comfort because it reminds me that no matter what comes in the life, I have hope. My hope cannot be taken away! At a funeral yesterday (for the same family mentioned above, they also lost their grandma last week) I saw the bittersweet beauty of a life that went to be with Jesus. Her funeral was a beautiful tension between sadness at the loss of her life and joy over a life well lived and the reality that she is now with her savior. Loss without knowing Jesus is bitter, there is no sweet that goes with it. When my son died, I remembered that I had the hope that I will see him one day. The loss of such a young life is mostly bitter, but the sweet reminder of hope is enough to keep me going. In loss, in daily life, in destruction, it’s a helpful reminder: this world is not our home. I hope that you, reader, have this hope as well!

My answer to these deep thoughts? I bake. Like I said, it’s one of those things that comforts me because I know I can accomplish it. It’s reliable, and it’s worthwhile to me.

A waiting sourdough boule. So much potential!
Coating it with beaten eggs whites and water.
Sprinkling some poppyseed.
Removing the lid after first bake to let it brown.
Finished beauties.

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