It’s a quiet place, Pender Island. People live their lives here, they fall in love and raise families. They work, shop, commute, they keep themselves entertained with friends, culture and arts and enjoying the great outdoors. Natural beauty abounds. But it’s a quiet place, as places go. And as with any community, there are times when it all seems to come together. The easy life, the neighbours, the work and all the good will and blessings they bring forth.
The last load of bread is about to come out of Mildrith. I’ll let it cool awhile, package it up, then make the delivery rounds on Pender Island. The car will smell heavenly, as Jennifer and I drive along Gowlland Point Road, through the valley and up Canal Road. We will knock on doors and hand over our first Happy Monk packages to happy bread subscribers. There is much to be thankful for! We are grateful to receive the enthusiastic responses to our labours, the well wishes of neighbours and friends. We have the sense we are adding something to the community, to Pender Island. A loaf of bread, the love that goes into it, the wonderful flavours and textures.
A Bread Dream Come True
It has been a dream to bake bread in a wood-fired oven, bread that is wild-yeasted, organic, nutritious and tastes delicious. Building the oven was the first step. Building the website, too! All the back-end stuff, the equipment, the branding, sourcing the ingredients. Every step has presented much in the way of blessings: the people — the well-wishers and those who’ve helped build the oven, given advice and mentored — they’ve all played a part in ushering our dream of bread-baking into reality.
Our first round of deliveries was pure joy. Greg and Susan came out with their camera to take a picture of The Happy Monk walking up the steps with their bags of bread. Another Facebook moment! Christina said she loved the logo, Brother Geoffrey and his oven, which was so beautifully drawn by my talented daughter, Ella Sharp Morton, an amazing photographer and illustrator. When Jennifer and I got home, there were already text messages of people saying how much they love the bread. Facebook posts, Instagram photos of the bags and sliced loaves. And this note:
Thou has baked a most delicious and wondrous taste.
Hence, absent thyself from evesong and rest.
But thou are hereby encouraged to repair once again
to matins for to speak to thy maker baker, thence to thy
forno and sustain our staff of life.
Summa cum laude.
And home again, tired, happy … and full of ideas for next week’s bake!