If there is a cycle to grief, it starts here. It started Sunday. The second of December. The start of the crash and burn.
I made bread on Sunday. I made other things – spaghetti sauce and brownies. Mostly, I just made bread. I shrug and call it chemistry, but really, when you put the yeast into the sugar and watch it bubble, it’s a bit magic. When you cover it and walk away for an hour, and come back and see it flowing over the bowl, it’s a bit magic. When you punch it down and form it, wait for it to rise again, it’s a bit magic. When you pull it out of the oven and thump the loaf and hear that hollow sound, it’s a bit magic.
When I think back to that time in my life 5 years ago, I mostly seem to think of destruction. Destructive forces. Not such a surprise really, when you think about what happened.
I have been thinking a lot about time these days – about what five years is and isn’t. How time can change depending on how you are looking at it and where you are. How sometimes 5 years seems like a lot and how sometimes it seems like a nanosecond.
I’ve been thinking about what anniversaries mean and what they don’t, and how round numbers seem to make us think things are significant. What is 5 years and how is it different than 4. What changes based on the year? Can I miss my son not here anymore any differently than I did last year? He’s still not here.
But, 5 years. 5 years feels bigger. Longer. Deeper.
And I think of all of that as I make bread. I think about it as I move in and out of the process, assembling ingredients and then tucking it into the oven. I set the time for the first rise and walk away – do other things. I’ll come back. I repeat for the second rise, for the baking.
I’ll come back. I’ll come back. I’ll come back.