By Patti Dobson
Faith columnist 

Baking good for troubled spirit, loss for words


January 7, 2018

Sometimes, words fail.

It’s messy and uncomfortable when the words we generally find so much comfort in fail us … or fail a situation. And at times, there are no words to adequately express how we feel, how much we empathize, or how much we feel for someone or their predicament.

So, what then? For me, I bake.

There is something meditative about the art of baking. Yes, there’s science and math involved; but, true peace comes from the art of putting heart and soul into baked goods.

When I can’t solve a problem or find a solution, I bake. Angry? Take it out on a couple loaves of bread. Need a break from the every-day drama? Whip up a batch or 12 of cookies. Need to reconnect with your roots? Dive into the family recipes. I can’t pull a slip of paper out of the old family cookbooks without feeling embraced by the women who’ve graced my life.

When my spirit is weary for whatever reason, I take comfort in blending butter into flour, the fragrance of vanilla and cinnamon, the whirring of the mixer.

When I don’t know what to say to a grieving friend, I bake. When I feel overwhelmed by the world, I bake. When I don’t know what to do or I can’t fix something, granted, brownies won’t save or change the world. But when words fail, something from the heart can speak volumes. And in that moment, we’re connected to someone — or something — bigger than us.

I’ve worked out many a problem in the kitchen. And at times, the problem remains unsolved. Yet, I have still found a measure of peace sifting through pieces of an issue the same way I sift flour. Who knows? Maybe it is just the act of doing something when I don’t know the right “something” to do. And maybe it’s just that I feel better having something good (if the baking elves are with me!) come out of a therapy session in the kitchen.

A cake or pie won’t change the world. But maybe … just maybe … it’ll change someone’s corner of the world, or even mine, for a little bit.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at: [email protected]


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