Warm, soft, tender, whole. It is a mother's love wrapped in a stoneware embrace. The gluten stretches like billowing linens on a wind-blown line full of the spacious final exhalations of tiny friendly microorganisms. The homely crust is lumpy and brown, but pride lurks inside those wheaten-walls. The pride of a mother's deep knowing of children fully fed, quietly nourished, and tenderly satisfied.
In a moment a steel grimace will partition this meal creating a serving where there once was a whole, but, now, while the fragrant heat slips into memory, this humble creation of flour and water stands as a symbol of home and family and faith.
One loaf made and broken again and again, giving each body the elements of life and each soul the vitalizing gasp of hope. This two pound loaf represents to the disparate and time flung generations the hands that took up bread and gently changed the world. Those hands, just beginning to show age, selected the humblest of foods to remind the world of the coming of a simple, gentle, mothering Divinity. A new way and an enduring love both needing a metaphor: a metaphor of seed and growth and home and nourishment. An alchemy of grain and water into sustenance and love and grace into hope.