Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Seasons of Tradition/MANN

My first thought when I awoke this morning was . . . bread. Did I have the right ingredients and, as I glanced at the bedside clock, did I have enough time to prepare the dough and bake it before we left for the day? Assuring myself that all was well, my feet hit the floor. Yearly seasons of traditions sometimes go together with the seasons of the heart.

At our house, we have let some customs go over the years and created new ones. One constant tradition is the Christmas tree: set up in the same place on a specific day with the same festive ornaments. And when the crèche, holly, garland and plants are in place: bring on the season. Although I‘ve replaced some of these over the years, the decorations have remained much the same now as our adult children would remember them.

Bread is another tradition. We have it for most meals. This is a culinary tradition from my childhood. Peanut Butter and Jam on homemade bread every day after school. Grandma’s rolls pulled out of the oven on Sunday after church. Homemade jellies spread on warm freshly baked bread. Such good memories.

My bread recipe is very stained with drops of molasses, honey and other ingredients, and I have trouble reading some of the fine print. This is good – it shows a well-tried and tested recipe for favourite bread. There are not many ingredients in my bread recipe, probably eight along with a particular temperature and time frame—each with its own task within the larger purpose. If I should miss one of them, or for some reason change the measure or degree, the texture might change, or perhaps the size and colour.

I liken this in some ways to traditional and time-honoured values of living out one’s faith. Certainly the traditional ingredients in the recipe for a faithful Christ-centred life of study, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer still remains trustworthy over the centuries. And people tend to come to these in ways that meet their particular needs.

Tradition is not a nasty word. Too often I’ve heard that tradition limits our growth and willingness to change. Perhaps it’s when we limit ourselves to a particular tradition without the freedom to include variations, that corner us.

Later today, I will wrap my bread in cloths and place it in a wooden basket - it will have much the same appearance as my bread has had over the years. I will tuck my knitting into a bag along with a hostess gift and Doug and I will make our way to a Grey County farm to spend New Year’s Day with friends. Again a beloved tradition that only altering the ingredients of life such as relationships, health, or age will change this blessing.

Blessings in this new year,


Peter Black said...

New Year blessings to you too, Donna!
My word! I virtually savoured the aroma of baking bread as I read, aided by your bread graphic which kept intruding into my sight-line. :)
Thank you for this warm spiritual focus to tune the heart at the outset of the year.

Donna said...

Thank you Peter. Your words are always so inspiring. And may the new year be filled with many blessings for you.

Carolyn Wilker said...

I too enjoyed your post and have been thinking of making some bread. A great analogy to time-tested faith traditions.

Play angry Birds said...

Wish you happy new year to you and your family ..Keep posting more article ..Nice..

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