We came home with a sack full of squash. Perfect for my friend Sue's butternut squash soup recipe, which was a welcomed warmth in the un-endingly wet and cold week. I really detest group projects; so when the week called for a group meeting, I baked pumpkin bread crusted with sunflower seeds and slivered almonds, in hopes that our group project would somehow be more fun. And the spicy-sweet squash bowl from Pinch of Yum is a go-to fall recipe for me. Perfect for weekday lunches.
But what I really love to do on a wet and cold day is crank the oven up to 500 and bake bread. I woke up the other day feeling a little disoriented, stuck in the cognitive space of a brain that's working on over-drive to get through the day's reading, exhausted and emotionally drained. I needed to do something with my hands, something simple and rooted. I've heard bread making spoken of as a spiritual practice, which I think I'm on board with. Sometimes, we need to do things that pull us back to earth, that ground us and remind us of the weight of the earth beneath our feet. That's how I feel when I sink my hands into a bowl of dough. It felt so good to do something that didn't require a book, a conversation, or a coherent thought. And as I mindlessly shaped my dough into loaves, it was as though the bits of my mind and spirit that had been scattered, started to settle into place. I could make some sense of the world again.
I was telling a friend this week how these days feel a bit like a wilderness. At school we talk a lot about the need to name the hard thing for what it is, to live into the difficulty, pain, or tragedy of our lives in order to experience healing. We are being asked to the hard work of lament, of not rushing through to the other side, but allowing ourselves to dwell in the not-ok for a while. Which is not really that fun. Often, to name something that seems unnameable costs you something. It is a laborious task. But, I am coming to believe, a necessary one. I'm naming the wilderness for what it is. Like Israel, I believe the pillar of light goes before me. And I have a hope. A hope in the promise that is on the other side. He has rescued before; he will rescue again.
This morning at the church I visited, we sang Bob Dylan's song Pressing On. It's not only super rad that Bob Dylan played a role in my experience of worship this morning, but it's a really great song. A side of Bob Dylan not often heard. In it, he sings, "What's lost has been found, what's to come has already been."
The poet Julia Esquivel says we have been "threatened with resurrection"and this is what keeps us up at night.
Accompany us, then
on this vigil
and you will know
how marvelous it is
threatened with resurrection.