Bread making as a way to stay grounded, human, connected to the Earth, and to use those senses...
This was a comment I was making to another forum member but then it turned into such a rant, I realized it needed its own place here. Not sure if anyone will care or feels the same way but here it is, in case anyone else can relate.
It's funny - and maybe you can relate to this (?) - but I'm such a sensory person in general (extra sharp olfactory and aural senses, as well as touch, e.g. I'm all about down comforters and bubble baths, good cottons, etc). I think being so sensory lends itself - though it's early on for me so I don't know for sure - to making bread. The senses are so involved or the ability to make good bread is so much easier when you know what a good sourdough starter smells like and can feel the consistency you need and know the feel of the nice slack high-hydration dough and can see the sheen develop, etc. I guess that can be said about any creative process actually. I mean for all I know, that's part of car-painting, you know?! Yet there seems to be more with bread making than car-painting because of how it's alive and growing. My guess is that many of us appreciate the process of bread making in part due to how removed we've all become from making things ourselves these days as well as directly interacting with the materials since most everything's already processed for us (not to mention the growing disconnect between people, e.g. due to computers and cell phones, etc)! It's obviously not an original thought I'm sharing here, but in some ways we're epidemically losing our humanity (or a new definition of what it is to be human seems to be developing - yikes). It's not just a concern about how we connect to others but how we connect to things in the world and our place in it - how we connect to what we eat, in this case. I know there's a lot out there about this but it's really hitting me, how true it is, since playing around with bread dough, haha.
As a parent, I'm reminded of how important - extremely important - it is to teach kids the value of using those senses and having hobbies. I really feel we're losing our kids more than ever to screens: TVs (as well as commercialism of course), video games and handheld devices. And then it seems so many parents' ideas of preventing too much screen time is simply to involve them in sports (granted I'm speaking from the perspective of a mom of all boys). But there's so much more out there they're not being introduced to enough, such as playing instruments, cooking/baking, digging in the earth, or even a sport involving rowing or paddling (just an example) because it puts them in nature and helps them "touch" the earth. I'm often down on myself as a parent for all the things I do wrong but I gotta say, I'm proud of myself in this moment for helping them become intellectually active rather than passive. They resist it and beg for their screen time, but they can make music on their piano, violins and guitar, and they can row and climb and help me make bread and I even occasionally force them to hug trees. ;)