Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." Thomas More
That big rolling pin in the back left of this crock that they are all grouped in was the beginning of this collection. I retrieved it from my grandmother's home after she passed away and it used to sit on a shelf in the center island of my previous home, always reminding me of her. I used it occasionally to roll out pizza dough and sometimes I would use it to smash things into fine crumbs because it is so heavy.
This rolling pin is a tool that my grandmother used much more frequently than I ever did. She baked on a regular basis making sweet rolls, cakes, breads, cinnamon coffee cakes, etc. This rolling pin has memories for me of her hands touching it, gently pressing her arms and body into the flour-covered table and elastic dough mound. Things always smelled good in her home. The moment you opened the door you knew she had been baking.
Things have changed for most people today. We don't make our own dough nearly as often as my grandmother did. We purchase a pizza from a take-and-bake store or buy the dough already made. We have busier lives it seems, although for people of my grandmother's generation, they were busy working each day from morning until evening but at different tasks: ironing, gardening, baking, preserving food, etc. It seems like it was a simpler time but I think in reality, it was much harder. We have become more sedentary with jobs that require many hours of sitting at computer screens.
I'm not saying that one is better or worse than the other but what I do want to remember is the effort it took to perform every-day tasks and what it meant. There was a different sense of accomplishment associated with those. You could go to bed at night knowing that what you had accomplished really felt like something. There is a satisfaction that comes with making things from scratch...from putting your whole body (literally) and soul into these tasks. Simplicity, yes, but like Thomas More writes "important to the soul".
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